松田喬和の首相番日誌:浮上するか、公選制

(Mainichi Japan) February 18, 2012
With parties foundering, now may be time for direct election of PMs
松田喬和の首相番日誌:浮上するか、公選制

The support rate for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has been declining. Recent opinion polls by media organizations all show that his administration's approval rating has plunged to somewhere in the 30 percent neighborhood, while the disapproval rate has climbed to some 50 percent.
 野田佳彦政権の内閣支持率低下が依然続いている。最近出されたマスコミ各社の調査では、軒並み支持率は30%前後に下落。逆に不支持率は50%前後まで上昇した。

"Basically, I should take the results seriously," said Prime Minister Noda during a House of Representatives Budget Committee session when asked about the unpopularity of his Cabinet. However, he also stressed that sometimes the prime minister "has to be ready to convince the public even when faced with harsh opinions at a particular moment."
この点を衆院予算委でただされた野田首相は「基本的には真摯(しんし)に受け取るべきだ」と述べる一方「現状では厳しい世論であっても、それを説得することを覚悟しなくてはならない場面もあると思う」と強調した。

Noda is absolutely determined to raise the consumption tax -- something which most opinion poll respondents oppose. On the other hand, with Japan facing an increasingly greying society, members of the public are becoming more aware that it would be impossible to maintain the current social security system without a consumption tax hike. Noda is apparently encouraged by this growing recognition.
 野田首相が不退転の決意で臨んでいる消費増税について、世論調査では反対論が上回っている。一方、一層進む高齢化社会で、消費増税なしに社会保障制度を維持することは不可能との認識も広まっている。これに野田首相も意を強くしたようだ。

Nevertheless, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has seen its party approval rate fall, while the largest opposition Liberal Democratic Party's support rate remains stuck in neutral. As a result, the number of independents has jumped from somewhere around 50 percent to nearly 70 percent, according to one survey.
 ただ、政党支持率では民主党は下落し、自民党も伸び悩み。結果として無党派層が増え、半数前後から7割近くという調査結果が出ている。

This demographic is the target of the host of newly emerging parties across the nation.
 この層をターゲットとする新党作りが各地で起きている。

One of them, "Osaka Ishin no Kai" (Osaka Restoration Association), a regional party led by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, has drawn up a manifesto called "Senchu Hassaku" -- the same title given to policy proposals thought to have been drafted by the late-Edo era revolutionary hero Sakamoto Ryoma.
 橋下徹大阪市長率いる大阪維新の会は公約集「船中八策」を早くも打ち出した。

Prime Minister Noda hailed the local party's policy pledges, saying, "It's good to raise questions about the way this country should be from various perspectives." Mayor Hashimoto was apparently flattered by the remarks, responding, "I'm glad the prime minister commented on what one local political group has been doing."
 予算委で「船中八策」への感想を求められた野田首相は、「国のあるべき姿を、いろんな立場から問題提起することはよい」と歓迎。それを聞いた橋下市長も「一ローカルの政治グループのやっていることにコメントしていただき、うれしい」と呼応した。

The Hashimoto-version of "Senchu Hassaku" (literally, eight proposals made aboard ship) advocates direct election of the prime minister. Such a system has often been proposed in times of political chaos. In a recent opinion poll, over 70 percent of respondents favored the direct election of prime ministers.
 「船中八策」で注目すべきは、首相公選制だ。過去にも政治が機能不全に見舞われると、首相公選制が浮上していたが、今回も7割以上が賛成の調査結果も出ている。

Former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, who has been advocating direct election of prime ministers for some 50 years under the slogan, "Let's be able to choose our lovers and our prime ministers," underscores the advantages of the system.
 「恋人と首相は自分で選ぶ」を、キャッチコピーに半世紀前から首相公選制を提唱している中曽根康弘元首相は、そのメリットを力説する。

"What is appropriate for Japan as a communal nation is a system to elect the people by the people.
 「共同体国家の日本にふさわしいのは、国民を国民が選ぶ制度だ。

If we set the (prime minister's) term at four years, with a maximum of two terms, the country's executive power would be stable.
任期を4年とし、再選までとすれば、国の執行権は安定する。

It is irrational that while people can directly elect the heads of their local governments, they can't do the same with the prime minister.
自治体の首長を直接選びながら、首相は別というのはおかしい。

Based on past experience, the Japanese people should have enough self-esteem to know they have the right to elect their own prime minister.
これまでの経験から、国民は首相を選べる有資格者と自負しているはずだ。

Once elected, the person would be appointed as prime minister by the Emperor," Nakasone said.
選出された首相を天皇が任命すればよい」

(By Takakazu Matsuda, Expert Senior Writer, Age 66)
(専門編集委員、66歳)
毎日新聞 2012年2月18日 東京朝刊
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-02-20 06:58 | 英字新聞

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