「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

前原外相辞任―外国人と政治献金 どうにも、もやもやが残る

2011/03/09
--The Asahi Shimbun, March 8
EDITORIAL: Did 250,000 yen really threaten Japan's national interest?
前原外相辞任―外国人と政治献金 どうにも、もやもやが残る。

Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara's resignation over donations he received from a foreign national has left us with a vaguely uncomfortable feeling.
The Korean resident who made the donations, the owner of a beef barbecue restaurant, says she has been treating Maehara as if he were her son ever since he moved to her neighborhood after losing his father when he was in the second year of junior high school.
Did her political donations to Maehara--50,000 yen ($610) per year for five years totaling 250,000 yen--really "threaten Japan's national interest?"
 焼き肉店を経営する在日韓国人の女性は、中学2年で父親をなくして近所に越してきた前原誠司氏を、息子のように思って付き合ってきたという。彼女からの年5万円、計25万円の政治献金が「国益が損なわれる」ほどのことだったのか。

The Political Fund Control Law bans in principle Japanese lawmakers from accepting political contributions from foreigners or companies more than half owned by foreigners. The ban is designed to prevent foreign involvement in or influence on Japanese politics.
 政治資金規正法は外国人や、外国資本が過半数を占める企業からの政治献金を原則禁じている。日本の政治への外国の関与や影響を防ぐためだ。

A Korean resident in Japan who runs pachinko parlors once talked about his political donations.
 パチンコ店を営む在日韓国人の男性は以前、こんな話をしていた。

Because opening pachinko parlors requires permission from the authorities, he has no choice but to build personal relations with various politicians, from Diet lawmakers to members of municipal assemblies.
 出店をめぐる問題などで商売柄、国会議員から市議会議員まで、どうしても政治家とはつきあわざるを得ない。

The Korean resident provides financial support to politicians only within the range in which they don't have to disclose the name of the donor. That way, it remains unknown that the money comes from a foreigner. When he buys tickets to a fund-raising party, for instance, the upper limit is 200,000 yen.
The man said this involves subtle cooperation with aides to the politicians based on "aun no kokyu," or the same wavelength.
金の支援は外国人からと分からぬように、献金者の記載義務がない範囲で、たとえばパーティー券なら20万円までにしておく。秘書とのあうんの呼吸だという。

The Political Fund Control Law was revised in 2006 to ease the ban on political donations by foreign companies, exempting from the rule companies that have been listed on a Japanese stock exchange for five years or more.
 外資系企業の献金規制をめぐっては2006年、国内で上場して5年以上たっていれば可、と規正法が改正された。

The revision has ensured that Japanese companies can continue making political donations even after foreigners have acquired more than half of their shares.
国際化で外資が50%超になっても企業献金できるようにしたものだ。

The Liberal Democratic Party proposed to lift the ban altogether, but the Democratic Party of Japan expressed concerns that the step would make it possible for a foreign party to influence Japanese politicians for specific purposes. As a result, the requirement concerning stock listing was added to the revision.
自民党は解禁を提案したが、このときは民主党が「外国勢力が特定の意図で政治家に影響を与える懸念がある」といい、上場年数の要件がついた。

Here's another relevant story.
 こんな話もある。

When an election draws near, candidates of various parties visit the local offices of Korean Residents Union in Japan (Mindan) to ask the organization affiliated with South Korea for support or recommendations.
 在日本大韓民国民団の各地の事務所には、選挙が近づくと、いろんな党の候補者が入れ替わり、あいさつや推薦依頼に来るという。

Foreign residents in Japan, of course, don't have the right to vote in elections.
もちろん、外国籍の人に選挙権はない。

But the children of Korean residents married to a Japanese are Japanese nationals. And Korean business owners employ Japanese workers.
だが日本人と結婚すれば子どもは日本国籍も持ち、事業をしていれば日本人従業員がいる。

In areas where many Korean residents live, they could have a political influence that cannot be safely ignored.
在日の人たちが多く住む街では、無視できない存在だからだ。

These episodes indicate that the border that keeps foreigners from Japanese politics and elections is actually rather fuzzy and subject to the influence of politicians.
 いくつかの例から見えてくるのは、日本の政治や選挙と外国人の間の線引きが実はあいまいで、政治家の都合で左右されている現実だ。

In particular, Korean residents affiliated with North or South Korea have been living in this country for three or four generations.
 外国人の中でも在日韓国・朝鮮人の人たちは、日本に根を下ろしてすでに3世代、4世代目だ。

They have maintained their foreign nationality because of reasons related to the procedures for obtaining Japanese nationality or their sentiment toward their ethnic roots.
国籍取得の手続きや自身のルーツへの思いから、外国籍を持ち続けている。

On the other hand, these Korean residents have been paying taxes as Japanese taxpayers do and sharing living space with Japanese citizens. They are integral members of local communities, including in terms of politics.
一方で、日本人と同じように税金を納め、生活空間をともにし、政治を含めた地域社会に組みこまれた存在だ。

Korean residents seeking to be recognized as legitimate members of their local communities have been demanding the right to vote in local elections.
きちんと住民の一員として認めてほしいと、地方選挙権を求める運動も起きている。

Receiving political donations from foreign residents in Japan is certainly illegal.
 在日外国人の献金は確かに法に触れる。

But a conversation at the Diet or on the street over the money Maehara received from the Korean owner of a barbecue restaurant loses sight of the context. It starts sounding like a discussion about an intelligence war between countries as soon as it becomes a debate on the abstract issue of political donations by foreigners.
だが、国会や街中の議論で「外国人献金問題」と抽象化した瞬間、焼き肉屋のおばちゃんのいきさつは消し飛び、まるで国家間の諜報(ちょうほう)を論じるようだ。

Some important elements that can provoke candid conversations may have been lost in the process.
その間に互いに本音で話しあえる大切なものが落っこちていないか。

Have Maehara's critics made a well-reasoned argument by raising the issue of national interest and asking him which side he would choose if a diplomatic row were to break out between the two countries?
 今回、ことさらに「国益」をうんぬんし、「外交問題が起こった時にどちら側に立つか」と問うような批判は、当たっていたのだろうか。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-03-10 06:27 | 英字新聞

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