「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

一体改革法成立 財政健全化へ歴史的な一歩だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 12, 2012)
Tax bill passage historic step toward fiscal soundness
一体改革法成立 財政健全化へ歴史的な一歩だ(8月11日付・読売社説)

 ◆首相の「国益優先」を支持する◆

The nation has taken a historic step toward solving the long-standing task of rehabilitating its heavily indebted public finances.
 借金体質の国家財政を健全化するという長年の懸案の解決に向けて、歴史的な一歩である。

The Diet has enacted legislation to comprehensively reform the social security and tax systems, including a consumption tax hike. The bills were passed by the House of Councillors with support mainly from three parties--the Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito.
 消費税率引き上げを柱とする社会保障・税一体改革関連法が参院本会議で、民主、自民、公明3党などの賛成多数で可決、成立した。

After more than 200 hours were spent on deliberations in both chambers of the Diet, the legislation was passed by an overwhelming majority of lawmakers. We regard the move highly and hope it will prove to be a turning point in the nation's stagnated politics.
 審議に200時間以上をかけ、圧倒的多数の賛成で成立させた。高く評価したい。先送りを続けてきた政治に転機をもたらすことを期待する。

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3 parties share responsibility
 ◆消費増税に共同の責任◆

At a press conference following the enactment of the bills Friday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda first referred to the DPJ's election manifesto, saying, "I'd like to deeply apologize that the [manifesto] did not mention consumption tax increases."
 野田首相は法成立後の記者会見の冒頭、民主党政権公約(マニフェスト)に言及し、「消費税引き上げを記載していなかったことを深くおわびしたい」と述べた。

The work to implement the reform, which imposes a burden on the public, has just started. The government needs to work sincerely to broaden public understanding of the need for the changes.
 国民に負担を求める改革は緒に就いたばかりだ。真摯(しんし)な姿勢で国民の理解を広げる必要がある。

With the legislation enacted, the consumption tax rate will be raised in two stages from the current 5 percent to 8 percent in April 2014 and then to 10 percent in October 2015.
 消費税率引き上げ法の成立によって、現行5%の税率は2014年4月に8%、15年10月に10%へと段階的に引き上げられる。

Before the tax rate is increased, elections will be held for both houses of the Diet.
 それまでに衆院選と参院選が確実に行われる。

The sales tax hike is expected to become a contentious issue in the elections. Even though the election results may lead to a change of government and tax-hike opponents may gain momentum, the three major parties should continue to share responsibility for doubling the consumption tax.
 消費増税の是非が争点になるだろう。選挙の結果、政権が代わり、反増税の勢力が台頭しようとも、民自公3党は「消費税10%」の実現まで責任を共有するべきである。

LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki has said the agreement reached by the three parties before the bills' enactment also covers economic measures intended to lay the groundwork for the tax increases.
 自民党の谷垣総裁は、3党合意には、消費税引き上げの環境を整えるための経済対策も含まれるとの見解を示している。

Amid growing instability of the world economy, the nation must prevent the value of its government bonds from nosediving. It is vital to boost the credibility of the bonds by drawing up a solid road map for restructuring public finances.
 世界経済が不安定さを増す中、日本の国債が暴落する事態は回避しなければならない。財政再建へ確かな道筋をつけ、国債の信認を高めていくことが肝要である。

The government is now expected to work out measures for low-income earners, which will be aimed at helping offset their burden from the tax increases, through year-end discussions on tax reform steps for fiscal 2013.
 増税に伴う低所得者対策については、年末の13年度税制改正に向けた議論で詰めることになる。

Reduced tax rates for certain items such as food should be introduced when the sales tax is raised to 8 percent. To protect the culture of printed matter and democracy, such measures should also be considered for newspapers and books.
 食料品などの消費税を低くする軽減税率は8%への引き上げ時に導入すべきだ。活字文化と民主主義を守るため、新聞や書籍への適用も検討しなければならない。

Meanwhile, progress is likely to be made in reform of the social security system. A comprehensive child-rearing support plan would aim to reconstruct current social security measures and reallocate budgetary spending that now disproportionately focuses on the elderly. This reallocation would allow every generation to benefit from spending. The pension system is also expected to be revamped significantly by such steps as making part-time workers eligible for employee pension plans.
 社会保障制度改革は、着実に前進する。総合的な子育て支援策は、高齢者向けに偏っている社会保障政策と財源を全世代型に再構築するものだ。年金制度も、パート労働者への厚生年金適用拡大など、懸案がかなり改善に向かう。

Opponents of the reform legislation who criticize "raising the tax before addressing social security system reform" are wide of the mark.
 「増税先行」の批判は当たらない。

To counter such criticism, the three parties must swiftly launch the planned national council for revamping the social security system to start nationwide discussion of the feasibility of mid- and long-term systemic changes in social security arrangements. Discussion of the advisability of cutting back on social welfare benefits to boost efficiency of social welfare services, a subject that was not discussed in the three-party talks, is a must.
3党は社会保障制度改革国民会議を速やかに発足させ、中長期的な制度改革の議論を始めるべきだ。今回見送った給付減などによる効率化も欠かせない。

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Prize accord of party heads
 ◆党首会談合意を大事に◆

The resolve of Prime Minister Noda--who has said he will stake his political career on realizing the reform--made passage of the tax and social security legislation possible.
 極めて困難と見られた一体改革関連法が成立したのは、まず、野田首相が「政治生命を懸ける」覚悟で取り組んだからだ。

He finally reached a de facto agreement with LDP head Tanigaki on a "dissolution by mutual consent of the House of Representatives," although the timing of the dissolution was left vague in the three-party accord, which used the phrase "sometime soon."
最後は、「近いうちに」という曖昧な表現ながら、谷垣氏と事実上の「話し合い解散」でも合意した。

During debates about the reform legislation, the fact that the DPJ's policy pledges in the 2009 general election were pies in the sky became all the more obvious, and the party was split when the lower house passed the reform bills. Intraparty moves are also growing to oust Noda from the DPJ's top post.
 この間、民主党マニフェストの破綻が露(あら)わになり、法案の衆院通過時に党は分裂した。「野田降ろし」も表面化している。

By making such a big sacrifice, the prime minister has remained unfaltering in his decision to place priority on the national interest. This is admirable.
 首相は、大きな犠牲を払いながら、ぶれずに国益優先の判断を重ねた。その姿勢は評価できる。

When the reform bills were put to a vote in the upper house on Friday, six DPJ legislators voted against them. Noda should quickly take disciplinary steps against the six to strengthen his leadership as head of the ruling party.
 参院での法案採決時には民主党の6議員が反対票を投じた。速やかに処分すべきだ。党首としての指導力を強めることになろう。

Given that the Diet is divided, with the ruling camp lacking a majority in the upper house, the role played this time by the two major opposition parties--the LDP and Komeito--was significant.
 衆参ねじれ国会の下、自民、公明両党の役割は大きかった。

Tanigaki, as chief of the largest opposition party, made a weighty decision when he chose to cooperate with the government and the ruling coalition.
 谷垣氏は野党第1党党首として政府・与党に協力するという重い決断を下した。

Only Noda and Tanigaki could have realized the accord between the ruling and opposition blocs.
野田、谷垣両氏のコンビでなければ今回の合意は実現しなかっただろう。

The DPJ, LDP and Komeito should maintain their cooperation to move the nation's politics forward so the pile of political tasks remaining can be resolved by transcending barriers between the ruling and opposition camps.
 民自公3党は、日本の政治をさらに前に動かすために連携を維持し、与野党の垣根を超えて課題解決に取り組んでもらいたい。

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Narrowing vote gap essential
 ◆格差是正が解散の前提◆

One problem in this connection is that DPJ Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi, referring to Noda's pledge to the LDP and Komeito that he would "seek the public's mandate sometime soon" by dissolving the lower house over the tax and social security reforms, has publically stated that the prime minister "does not have to stick to" his commitment.
 問題なのは、野田首相が自公両党に「近いうちに国民に信を問う」と、早期解散を約束したことに関し、輿石幹事長がこだわる必要はないと発言したことである。

Koshiishi has even said the three-party agreement would be nullified should the prime minister and Tanigaki fail to win reelection in their respective parties' presidential elections to be held in September.
 輿石氏は、首相や谷垣氏が9月に迎える党首選で再選されない場合には、3党合意は無効になるとの見方も示した。

Tanigaki was understandably enraged by Koshiishi's remarks, saying Koshiishi was "utterly ignorant of the basics of party politics and should be severely criticized," thus ratcheting up the LDP's confrontational stance against the DPJ.
 谷垣氏が、この発言に「政党政治が何たるかを心得ていない。厳しく糾弾しなければならない」と激怒し、民主党との対決姿勢を強めたのも無理はない。

Koshiishi's words and deeds, which are contrary to what the prime minister desires and also make light of the prime minister's promise with the LDP and Komeito, are outrageous.
 首相の意に沿わず、自公両党との合意を軽んじるかのような輿石氏の言動は目に余る。

To ensure an environment conducive to dissolving the lower chamber for a general election, it is indispensable to reform the electoral system.
 衆院解散・総選挙の環境を整えるには選挙制度改革が不可欠だ。

The Supreme Court has ruled that the current disparity in the weight of votes between the most and least represented electoral districts is "in a state of unconstitutionality."
最高裁は現在の「1票の格差」を「違憲状態」と判断している。

Should a lower house election be held without any measures to rectify the vote disparity because the legislature abdicates its duties, the judiciary could nullify the election results because they violate the Constitution.
 国会の怠慢で、格差是正措置を講じずに衆院選に踏み切れば、憲法違反として選挙無効の判決が出る可能性も否めない。

Under the circumstances, the DPJ, LDP and Komeito must act urgently to narrow the electoral disparity by first realizing plans to reduce the number of lower house single-seat constituencies by five.
 民自公3党は、小選挙区の「0増5減」を先行実施し、格差を是正することが急務である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 11, 2012)
(2012年8月11日01時22分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-08-13 07:36 | 英字新聞

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