「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

Maehara resignation another sign Japanese politics is badly broken

(Mainichi Japan) March 7, 2011
Maehara resignation another sign Japanese politics is badly broken
前原外相辞任:政治不全が止まらない=政治部編集委員・古賀攻

The public's lingering ambivalence regarding Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara's resignation can be attributed to the utter improbability of the brouhaha making any contributions toward straightening out the tangled mess that Japanese politics has become.
 辞任した前原誠司外相をめぐって割り切れなさが残るのは、この騒動がもつれにもつれた日本の政治の立て直しに何ら貢献しそうにないからだ。

The scandal erupted when it emerged that Maehara had been receiving 50,000 yen annually from a 72-year-old South Korean resident of Kyoto in violation of the Political Funds Control Law. The benefactor runs a small barbecue restaurant, and has known Maehara since he was in his second year of junior high school.
 年5万円の献金主が京都に住む在日韓国人の女性だったことから、政治資金規正法の問題が生じた。72歳になる女性は小さな焼き肉店の経営者で、前原氏が中学2年生だったころからの知り合いだという。

What are we to make of the gap in significance between the facts surrounding the donations and the foreign minister's resignation because of them?
 その事実関係と、外交責任者の引責辞任という出来事とのギャップをどう考えればよいのだろうか。

One former prime minister and a member of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said that it was the fact that the political funds law had not been honored -- and not the specific circumstances of the donations -- that was the problem.
"The donation amount is not the issue here," he said. "That a figure such as the foreign minister had not taken a law banning politicians from accepting donations from foreign nationals seriously is the issue."
 自民党の首相経験者は「額の多寡は問題ではない。外相ともあろう者が、外国人からの献金禁止を深刻に考えていなかったことが問題だ」と語る。

There is no question that Maehara's blunder must be criticized. Small donations can amount to a lot if collected from large numbers of people. Considering that the Political Funds Control Law was laid down in the spirit of preventing the will of specific foreign countries from influencing domestic politics, foreign ministers must be careful -- perhaps even more than other politicians -- to abide by such rules.
 確かに前原氏の脇の甘さは指弾されるべきだろう。個々の献金額は小さくても、同じ条件で多数の人から献金を集めるケースだってあり得る。特定国の意思が国内政治に反映されることを防止するという規正法の精神に照らせば、外相の地位にある者は一般の政治家以上に厳しく身を律する必要がある。

What should not be overlooked, however, is that Maehara's donation scandal suddenly surfaced at a time of political gridlock, in which forcing a choice between resignation and keeping one's post seems to be the ultimate mission of the Japanese political world.
 しかし、見過ごせないのは、八方ふさがりの状況下で前原氏の献金問題が急浮上し、進退の決着だけがゴールのように動いてしまう政界のありようだ。

It is obvious that the LDP, which unearthed the latest scandal, has an ulterior motive: to crush Maehara, rumored to be a prospective successor to Kan, before he gains momentum, and to push Prime Minister Kan to dissolve the lower house. Kan will find himself cornered, no matter how determined he may presently be to stay on task, if Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Ritsuo Hosokawa -- who recently bumbled over a ministry directive regarding social security -- is also driven to resignation, setting off a resignation "domino effect."
 今回の事案を掘り起こした自民党側に、前原氏が「ポスト菅直人」に躍り上がる芽をつぶし、菅首相による衆院解散へ引き込む思惑があるのは明らかだ。年金問題で不手際があった細川律夫厚生労働相とともに「ドミノ辞任」に突き進めば、いくら強気の首相でも後がなくなる。

Meanwhile, it appears that one reason Maehara resigned relatively soon after his violation of the political funds law became public was his judgment that doing so would help him maintain his chances of becoming prime minister more so than would waiting until the drama had played out over an extended period of time. He left much business unfinished, including the upcoming G8 meeting of foreign ministers that is set to begin on March 14, and a meeting of Japanese, Chinese and South Korean foreign ministers scheduled for March 19. Kan lacked any zeal to fight to keep Maehara at his post, betraying a general sense of incompetence within the Kan administration.
 一方、前原氏が比較的早期に辞意を固めた背景には、引き際を誤って転倒するよりも、首相候補の地位を保った方が得策という、やはり内向きの計算がうかがえる。今月14日から主要8カ国(G8)外相会議、19日からは日中韓外相会談が控えているが、それらを投げ出しての辞任だ。菅首相にも強引に続投させる気迫はなく、政権全体に無力感が漂う。

While the ruling and opposition parties carry out their domestic political rivalry, politics continues to lose its original function -- namely to govern Japan and serve its people -- leaving Japan behind the rest of the globalized world. Prolonged political paralysis only serves to hurt Japan's national interests and the interests of the Japanese people. (By Ko Koga, Senior Writer, Political News Department)
 こうして与野党が「政治的内戦」を繰り返しているうちに、政治が本来なすべき機能は損なわれ、日本はグローバル化した世界の潮流についていけなくなる。政治不全が止まらず、日々傷ついているのは、国益そして国民益だ。

毎日新聞 2011年3月7日 東京朝刊
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-03-08 06:23 | 英字新聞

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