原発と自治体―次の道を考えるときだ

October 26, 2011
--The Asahi Shimbun, Oct. 26
EDITORIAL: Spending review needed for nuclear-related subsidies
原発と自治体―次の道を考えるときだ

If the Yoshihiko Noda administration is serious about weaning the nation off nuclear power generation, one of the biggest issues it must address is its relationship with local governments with jurisdiction over the nuclear power plants.
 野田政権が「脱・原発依存」を進めていくうえで、向き合わなければいけない大きな課題のひとつが、原発を抱える自治体との関係だ。

The oil shocks of the 1970s propelled Japan toward greater dependence on nuclear energy.
 70年代、石油危機をへて、日本は原発の増強へとかじを切った。

Many of the municipalities that agreed to host nuclear plants were experiencing population drains and had no local industry to speak of.
建設地の多くは、これといった産業がなく、過疎に悩む市町村だった。

For taking in what nobody else wanted in their backyards, the municipalities were "rewarded" with huge amounts of government subsidies, even while the plants were still in the planning stages.
 迷惑施設を受け入れてもらう見返りに、計画の段階から巨額の交付金が地元に落ちる仕掛けが設けられた。

Roads and public gymnasiums sprang up, funded by the subsidies and property tax revenues.
道路や体育館といった箱モノが、交付金や固定資産税などをもとに次々に整備された。

And from 2003, the municipalities became able to spend their incomes in "soft" fields, such as supporting community activities and footing hospital personnel expenses.
03年からは町内活動や病院の人件費といったソフト面にも使えるようになった。

As their finances grew stronger, so did their dependence on the nuclear industry.
 財政が潤う一方、原発依存度は高まった。

In some municipalities, nuclear-related revenues make up more than 60 percent of the general account.
一般会計に占める原発関連収入の割合が6割を超える自治体もある。

But the March disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 plant has changed things.
 だが、福島第一原発の事故をへて、変化が起きている。

The town of Namie and the city of Minami-Soma in Fukushima Prefecture, where Tohoku Electric Power Co. has plans to build nuclear plants, have decided to decline government subsidies for the current fiscal year.
 東北電力の原発計画がある福島県の浪江町と南相馬市は、今年度の交付金を辞退すると表明した。

And in Ibaraki Prefecture, the head of Tokaimura village--the site of Japan's first nuclear power plant--has recommended to the government that the Tokai No. 2 plant be decommissioned.
原発発祥の地、茨城県東海村の村長は東海第二原発の廃炉を政府に提案した。

This is the first case of a local administrative body voluntarily seeking to end its financial dependence on the nuclear industry.
立地自治体がみずから廃炉を求めたのは初めてだ。

Other municipalities are beginning to expect eventual cuts in government subsidies and are making plans accordingly.
将来的な交付金の減額を想定し、対策を考え始めた自治体もある。

In switching its energy policy, the government needs to be fully receptive to these changing attitudes of local governments.
 政府は、エネルギー政策を転換するうえで、こうした自治体の問題意識をきちんと受け止める必要がある。

Specifically, the government needs to take a good, hard look at its subsidy system and ask itself this question: The subsidies were initially meant to promote regional development, but hasn't the system devolved into a means of "buying off" struggling communities, which is actually counterproductive to self-government in the true sense of the term?
 交付金の仕組みが、地域振興の名目で、ただのバラマキと化し、本当の意味での自治を壊していないか。

If this is the case, the system must be overhauled.
きちんと検証し、資金の使い方を見直さなければならない。

Some local governments are still pushing nuclear power generation,
 引き続き原発の推進を掲げる自治体もある。

but their neighboring municipalities are becoming increasingly cautious.
ただ、周りの市町村は慎重な姿勢を強めている。

Now that conventional disaster control zones are being considered for expansion, keeping or scrapping a nuclear power plant is no longer a decision that can be left only to the community where the plant is situated.
防災区域の拡大が検討されるなか、原発の存廃は立地自治体だけでは決められない。

We believe the time has come to include all communities in the vicinity in the decision-making process.
周辺市町村と一緒になって、次の道を考えるときではないか。

We are fully aware, of course, that any abrupt nuclear plant closure and withdrawal of government subsidies would be devastating to the regional economy.
 もちろん、脱原発で交付金などを突然打ち切られては地域経済も立ちゆくまい。

How should the transition take place?
どのような移行措置をとるべきか。

What role can the region play in the nation's shift to greater energy diversity?
分散型のエネルギー社会への転換に地域が果たせる役割とは何か。

In order for the region to think these things through and come up with practicable solutions, the government must provide occasions for thorough debate.
自治体自身が考え、アイデアを実現していくためにも、政府は話し合いの場を用意すべきだ。

And this is not something people in the big cities can shrug aside as none of their business.
 都市部の住民も「知らぬ話」で済まされない。

After all, the government subsidies for municipalities that host nuclear power plants are financed by the so-called power resources development promotion tax, which is collected from all taxpayers as part of their electricity bills.
交付金の原資は電源開発促進税として、電気料金に上乗せされて徴収されている税金だからだ。

To review how money is being spent for nuclear power generation is to explore a new rule for the redistribution of our tax money,
 原発マネーのあり方を見直すことは、税金をどう使うかという「再分配」の新しいルールを模索する作業でもある。

and this is something all citizens need to think about.
 国民みんなで考えたい。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-10-28 01:51 | 英字新聞

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