「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

日本の指導者―政治の根幹変える覚悟を

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 15
EDITORIAL: Japan in desperate need of a true leader
日本の指導者―政治の根幹変える覚悟を

If we get a new prime minister this year, it will be the seventh in seven years.
 もし、ことしも首相が代われば7年連続である。

The possibility of such a change is not small at all, as the momentum for a Diet dissolution and Lower House election is growing as politicians battle over the government's plan to raise the consumption tax rate.
 消費税率の引き上げをめぐって、衆院解散・総選挙の機運が高まりつつあり、その可能性は決して低くない。

After a succession of six prime ministers resigning in the same number of years, Japanese politics has completely lost its focus.
 この6年、毎年、首相が退陣した日本の政治は、すっかりタガが外れてしまった。

Last year within the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, voices loudly demanded the resignation of then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Even those within his own party supported the no-confidence motion against him.
 民主党では昨年、菅首相に「辞めろ」の大合唱が起こり、不信任案へ同調する動きさえあった。

His successor, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, won the party leadership by pushing for higher taxes, but some DPJ lawmakers repeated their objections again late last year, and some even left the party.
次の野田首相は増税を訴えて党代表選に勝ったのに、年末の党内議論で反対論が蒸し返され、離党者まで出た。

The Liberal Democratic Party no longer has any semblance of a ruling party.
 自民党には、もはや政権党の面影もない。

LDP politicians are acting as if the party had nothing to do with this country's enormous fiscal deficit, and they insist on yammering about the DPJ's breach of its manifesto. The LDP's actions border on the ridiculous.
財政赤字を積み上げてきた責任など知らん顔で、民主党のマニフェスト違反を責め立てる姿は滑稽ですらある。

With politics in such a state, it is little wonder that the recent support rate for the DPJ and the LDP combined, two major parties that make up nearly 90 percent of the seats in the Lower House, didn't even add up to 40 percent.
 こんなありさまだから、衆院で9割に近い議席を占める民主党と自民党の支持率を合わせても、最近は40%に満たない。

With an overwhelming majority of the electorate saying they support no party, can this really be called a "two-party system?"
 「支持政党なし」が圧倒的な最大勢力を占める現状は、果たして「2大政党」などと言えるものなのか。

Recognition of the times
■確かな時代認識を

In September this year, the terms in office will expire for the leaders of both parties, DPJ President and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki.
 ことし9月、民主党の野田佳彦代表(首相)も、自民党の谷垣禎一総裁も党トップの任期が切れる。

It will be a good opportunity to contemplate the essence of political leadership so that politics in this country can be rebooted.
政治を立て直すきっかけにするためにも、指導者のあり方を考える好機である。

An LDP veteran lawmaker once said: "The only thing postwar politicians had to decide was the general direction of this country: anti-communism, emphasis on the economy, and the Japan-U.S. security alliance. That was all. For the rest, bureaucrats drew up the blueprint."
 「戦後の政治が決めたのは、反共と経済重視、日米安保の方向性だけ。あとは官僚が実行計画を書いてくれた」

In an age when politics was on "autopilot," the role of politicians was the "redistribution of expanding wealth."
 こんな自民党ベテラン議員の言葉が物語る「自動操縦」のような時代は、「膨らむ富の再分配」が政治の役割だった。

However, our country is now seeing the progression of an extremely aging society, the extent of which is unprecedented around the world.
 だが、いまや世界に例のない超高齢化がすすむ。

Fewer people are working.
働く人の数が減る。

Despite the rocky waters of globalization, we cannot find the key to new economic growth.
グローバル化の荒波のなか、新たな経済成長のタネが見つからない。

The divide between the rich and poor, as well as the divide between the young and old, is widening.
貧富や世代間の格差が広がり続ける。

Politics is faced with the tough task of "redistributing the burden."
 政治は「負担の配分」という厳しい仕事を迫られている。

Yet, lawmakers continue to rely on bureaucrats as if we were still in the "autopilot' age. The lawmakers also continue to borrow more money and do their best to muddle through.
なのに国会議員たちは相も変わらず「自動操縦」の時代が続いているかのように官僚に寄りかかり、借金を重ねて、その場をしのぐ政治に精を出す。

This means we are bypassing our own problems and simply dumping them onto future generations.
これでは後世にツケを回すだけだ。

Political party leaders must first get a good grip on the times we live in.
 政党を率いる指導者は、まず確かな時代認識を持つことだ。

Then they must brace themselves so that they can fundamentally change our political system into something appropriate for governing this country in this age.
それに従って、時代にふさわしい統治の仕組みに制度を根幹から変えていく覚悟が要る。

To recreate our society, some drastic changes are essential. For example, a true shift away from bureaucratic leadership to real political leadership is needed, as is a move toward decentralization.
 社会をつくり直すためには、たとえば官僚主導から真の政治主導へ、中央集権から地方分権へといった大胆な転換が不可欠なはずだ。

The electorate has already changed along with the times.
 有権者はすでに時代とともに変わっている。

The proof lies in the fact that industry organizations are losing their vote-drawing powers not just in the cities but also in rural areas.
都市部だけでなく、農村部でも業界団体などの集票力が激減しているのは、その証しだ。

As the needs of the voters became more diverse, the electorate became fragmented like grains of sand, and the positions shift like sand dunes.
要望の多様化とともに、有権者は砂粒のようにばらばらになり、風が吹けば砂丘のように位置を変える。

Respond to change
■変化への対応を

Politicians are unable to cope with these ephemeral changes.
 この変わりように、政治家がついていけない。

The single-district system of the Lower House contributes to the parties' tendency to choose leaders they hope can gain wide support, but that is merely a window-dressing tactic aimed at winning over a fickle electorate.
 衆院の小選挙区制もあいまって、より幅広い支持を得られそうな党首を据える傾向が強まっているが、それは気まぐれな世論を味方につけようとする、いわば糊塗策(ことさく)でしかない。

It is impossible to support anyone or any party if they don't have the means with which to recognize and realize what voters want.
 有権者それぞれの思いを束ねて、くみあげる機能もないままに、支持だけ求めても無理だ。

It is only natural that voters should write off political parties and politicians that are out of touch with the times.
時代遅れの政党や政治家が、有権者に見限られるのは当たり前ではないか。

It is understandable that politicians like Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto are growing in stature when national politics is in such a dire state.
 これほど情けない国政を見せられれば、橋下徹大阪市長のような政治家が存在感を増すのもうなずける。

Hashimoto's criticism of the huge Osaka Town Hall organization is extremely easy to understand.
 大阪市役所という巨大な組織を批判する言説は、とにかくわかりやすい。

His push to eradicate the wasteful double administration that exists in Osaka--Osaka Prefecture and Osaka city--seems to be in accordance with these times of the shrinking economy
大阪府と市の二重行政の無駄をなくす姿勢も、経済が縮んでいく時代の流れに沿うものといえる。

He is always looking for new enemies and using the heat of that friction as the energy source to move forward. Such an approach is dangerous because it risks preventing rational thought and contemplation.
 敵をつくり、対立の摩擦熱ですすむような手法は、冷静な思考を妨げる危うさがつきまとう。

However, his style definitely gives the voters the impression that something is happening in politics.
だが、政治が確かに動いているという感覚を有権者に与えているのは間違いない。

Existing parties, whatever their party platform or policies, are ingratiating themselves to Hashimoto. This is a pathetic sight.
 こんな橋下氏に、従来の主張や政策を省みずにすり寄る既成政党の姿は哀れみさえ誘う。

Prime Minister Noda is asking the public to accept an increased burden as part of the tax and social security reform. That is a step forward in facing up to the changing times.
 野田首相が税と社会保障の一体改革で、国民に負担増を求めるのは、時代の変化に向き合う一歩だといえる。

The country must adamantly achieve government reform and move forward.
行革を断行しつつ、前へ進まねばならない。

The prime minister should take the argument he used to override the anti-tax raise voices within his own party late last year, and repeat the discussion in the public domain in plain sight.
 昨年末に民主党内の増税反対論を押し切った議論を、もっと国民に見える形でやればいい。

The voters will take notice only when the prime minister steps into the hot seat.
首相が矢面に立って初めて、有権者は振り返る。

Power to move organizations
■組織を動かす力を

How will LDP leader Tanigaki respond?
 自民党の谷垣総裁は、どう応じるのか。

If he says, "I have always championed tax reform up front and center," then he should clamp down on those within his party who demand an early dissolution of the Diet, and achieve tax reform by leading the way ahead of the DPJ.
「税制改革の断行を堂々と掲げてきた」というのなら、早期解散への党内圧力を抑え、むしろ民主党をリードして改革を成し遂げるのが筋だろう。

If he can achieve that, then he will secure a place in history.
それができれば、歴史に名を残すに違いない。

A leader is someone who recognizes how the times are changing, puts forth clear goals, builds a strategy to achieve those goals, and moves organizations and the unsung people who work hard outside the limelight to realize those goals.
 指導者は時代の変化を見極めて、わかりやすい目標を示し、その達成までの戦略を立て、実現のために縁の下で汗をかく人も含めて組織を動かす。

That is leadership, and leadership requires experience.
こうした指導力を培うには、経験も欠かせない。

A political culture that casually throws away its leaders in short succession is hardly conducive to producing good, worthy people.
 指導者を使い捨てするような政治風土からは、有為な人材はなかなか生まれない。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-01-18 04:51 | 英字新聞

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