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沖縄局長「講話」 「普天間」前進へ態勢立て直せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 6, 2012)
Rework arrangements needed to get relocation issue moving
沖縄局長「講話」 「普天間」前進へ態勢立て直せ(2月5日付・読売社説)

The Defense Ministry is considering possible punishment of Ro Manabe, chief of the Okinawa Defense Bureau, who reportedly encouraged his subordinates to vote in the mayoral election in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, slated for Feb. 12.
 防衛省が、12日投票の沖縄県宜野湾市長選への投票を職員に呼びかけた真部朗沖縄防衛局長について、処分を検討している。

There is no denying that Manabe's actions could have led to misunderstandings, even though they may not have been illegal.
 違法ではないが、誤解を招きかねない行為だったのは否定できない。

Late last month, Manabe allegedly gave "lectures" on the mayoral election to 66 of his subordinates who either live in the city or have relatives there.
 真部局長は1月下旬、宜野湾市内に本人か親族が住む職員66人に講話を行った。

While explaining the standpoint of the central government and prospective candidates on the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station, located in Ginowan, Manabe called their attention to the principle that public servants must be politically neutral.
米軍普天間飛行場の移設問題に関する政府の立場や立候補予定者の考え方を説明する一方、「公務員は政治的中立性が要求される」と注意を促した。

At a meeting of the House of Representatives Budget Committee to which he was summoned as an unsworn witness, Manabe emphasized that his lectures were rooted in the ministry's code of conduct for civil servants, which forbids recommending any particular candidate.
 真部局長は参考人として招致された衆院予算委員会でも、特定の候補を推薦してはいけないなどとする防衛省の服務規律の通達を踏まえた講話だったと強調した。

The upcoming mayoral election is likely to be a one-on-one fight between conservative and reformist candidates, with the outcome expected to affect the relocation issue.
 宜野湾市長選は保革一騎打ちが予想され、その結果は普天間問題にも影響すると見られていた。

===

Good intentions

Manabe, for his part, allegedly gave the lectures in the hope they would promote progress on the relocation issue, and meant to act within a scope that would not violate the Public Offices Election Law, which prohibits using the status of a public servant in an election campaign.
 真部局長とすれば、公務員の地位を利用した選挙運動を禁じる公職選挙法に抵触しない範囲で、普天間問題の前進の一助となれば、と考えて講話をしたのだろう。

The Defense Ministry has found that Manabe did not express support for any specific person during the lectures and there were no illegal acts.
 防衛省は、特定候補を支持する発言はなく、違法行為はなかったとしている。

The ministry's judgment can be called appropriate, in principle.
その判断は、基本的に妥当と言えよう。

Manabe allegedly gave similar lectures during recent elections, including one for the city assembly of Nago, also in the prefecture, held in 2010.
 真部局長は一昨年の名護市議選などでも同様の講話を行った。

This time the issue is more controversial, as local people have become highly critical of the bureau due to the inappropriate comments by Manabe's predecessor, which cost him his post in late November. There has also been turmoil over the delivery of an environmental impact report compiled by the central government regarding relocation of the base, and gaffes made by former and current defense ministers Yasuo Ichikawa and Naoki Tanaka.
 今回は、一川、田中の2代の防衛相の失言・迷言に加え、前任局長の不適切発言や環境影響評価書提出時の混乱で、沖縄防衛局への地元の視線が険しくなっていたことが、問題を大きくした。

Tanaka initially intended to penalize Manabe by replacing him on Friday.
 田中防衛相は当初、3日に真部局長を処分・更迭する考えだったが、

However, support for Manabe was expressed during the committee meeting and Tanaka's talks with senior ministry officials, leading him to postpone his decision on punishment.
予算委などで局長の擁護論が出たため、決定を先送りした。

Tanaka said that to aid the ministry's investigation of Manabe, he would have the bureau chief fulfill his responsibility to explain. This is a disgraceful stance, as Tanaka is trying to avoid his own responsibility for the confusion caused by the postponement of his decision.
 田中氏が「局長に説明責任を果たさせる」と語ったのは、判断先送りで混乱を招いた自らの責任を回避するもので、不見識だ。

===

Consider bureaucrats' morale

If the defense minister commits the similarly irresponsible act of forcing a bureaucrat to take the blame for the turmoil concerning a key policy issue, as the previous chief of the Okinawa Defense Bureau was forced to do, it will erode the morale of bureaucrats who are sincerely working on key policy issues. This would weaken the defense administration as a whole.
 前局長に続き、官僚に責任を押しつける安易な対応を重ねれば、政策課題に真剣に取り組んでいる官僚の士気をくじき、防衛行政自体を弱体化させかねない。

Also questionable is the response to this issue by the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, which have criticized the administration of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda over the relocation issue.
 野田政権を追及する自民、公明両党の対応にも、疑問がある。

It was the then ruling coalition parties of the LDP and Komeito that decided to transfer the functions of the Futenma Air Station from Ginowan to the Henoko district of Nago.
 そもそも普天間飛行場の辺野古移設を決めたのは自公政権だ。

It is only reasonable for opposition parties to criticize any problematic elements of the government.
 野党として、政府の問題点を批判するのは当然だが、

But if they end up making it difficult to realize the relocation to the Henoko district, it will destabilize bilateral relations between Japan and the United States, thus damaging national interests.
結果として辺野古移設の実現を困難にすれば日米関係を不安定化させ、国益を損ねる。

Both parties need to make judgments from a broader perspective, instead of merely pursuing their party interests.
党利党略でなく、より大局的な対応が求められる。

The relocation issue is now at a crucial stage.
 普天間問題は今、正念場にある。

If the transfer to the Henoko district comes to a standstill, the Futenma Air Station will inevitably remain in the same location.
辺野古移設が頓挫すれば、普天間飛行場は固定化が避けられない。

The Noda administration needs to rework its arrangements and do its utmost to realize the relocation.
野田政権は態勢を立て直し、移設実現に全力を挙げるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 5, 2012)
(2012年2月5日01時34分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-02-07 04:17 | 英字新聞

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