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復興予算「転用」 被災地支援が後回しでは困る

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 11, 2012)
Aid to disaster-stricken areas must be given priority
復興予算「転用」 被災地支援が後回しでは困る(10月10日付・読売社説)

Fiscal allocations for the reconstruction of areas devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake have been used for projects not directly related to disaster-stricken areas.
 東日本大震災の復興予算が、被災地の再建とはかけ離れた事業に使われている。

This diversion of funds cannot be ignored.
 これでは、予算の「転用」であり、看過できない。

Under pressure from the Liberal Democratic Party at the House of Representatives Committee on Audit and Oversight of Administration, the Finance Ministry and other ministries listed projects under way. Many of the projects are suspected of not being essential to reconstruction.
 自民党の追及を受け、財務省などが衆院決算行政監視委員会の関係議員に示した。その中には、「果たして復興関連なのか」と首をかしげたくなる事業が少なからず盛り込まれていた。

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry earmarked the cost for dealing with Sea Shepherd, an antiwhaling organization, as part of its reconstruction budget. Its reasoning is that unless antiwhaling protests can be halted, it will affect the reconstruction of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, which has whale processing facilities.
 農林水産省は、反捕鯨団体シー・シェパードへの対策費を計上した。抗議活動を阻止しなければ、鯨肉加工施設がある宮城県石巻市の再建に影響するとの理屈だ。

The Justice Ministry allocated funds for vocational training programs at prisons in Saitama Prefecture and elsewhere on the grounds that inmates may work in disaster-stricken areas after being released. This argument is hardly persuasive.
 埼玉県などの刑務所での職業訓練費について、法務省は「出所者が被災地で働くかもしれない」としているが、説得力を欠く。

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry has provided a subsidy to a contact lens manufacturing plant in Gifu Prefecture because the plant procures materials from the disaster-stricken region.
 被災地から材料を調達しているから、として岐阜県のコンタクトレンズ工場などへの経済産業省の補助金もあった。

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Okada's lame excuse

Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada explained at a news conference that "because we had to compile a huge budget within a short period, we didn't have time to go into details."
 岡田副総理は記者会見で、「短期間に大きな予算を組まなければならず、細部まで目が届かなかった」と釈明した。

Based on its basic reconstruction policy, the government originally estimated 19 trillion yen would be required for reconstruction in the first five years. A total of 18 trillion yen was allocated in the first to third supplementary budgets for fiscal 2011 and in the initial budget for fiscal 2012.
 復興予算は、復興基本方針で、必要な費用を当初5年間で19兆円と見積もり、2011年度1~3次補正予算と12年度当初予算で計18兆円を計上した。

The budgets are aimed at decontaminating areas affected by the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, rebuilding infrastructure damaged by the earthquake-triggered tsunami and disposing of debris.
 原発事故に伴う除染作業や津波被害で生じた社会資本の復旧、がれき処理などに充てられる。

Under the pretext of using tax hikes as a major resource to carry out reconstruction, the residential tax and income tax will be increased over 10- and 25-year periods, respectively.
主な財源は、10~25年間に及ぶ住民税や所得税などの復興増税だ。

The government offices insisted on the validity of their budget allocations, arguing that the basic reconstruction policy includes such wording as "antidisaster measures will be carried out across the nation" and "reconstruction of the disaster-devastated areas will be impossible without revival of the national economy."
 各府省は復興基本方針に「全国的に防災施策を行う」、「日本経済の再生なくして被災地の復興はない」といった文言があることから、予算の正当性を主張する。

It is true that measures also must be taken in other areas to prepare for disasters and prevent the hollowing out of industry.
確かに、被災地以外でも防災や産業空洞化対策は必要だ。

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Significant delays

However, an anything-goes budget cannot be tolerated given the significant delays in the key reconstruction projects.
 しかし、肝心の復興が大幅に遅れている中で、「何でもあり」のような予算は許されまい。

If government offices earmark spending even for projects that should be dealt with normally by the state budget because the reconstruction budget does not have a strict ceiling, it will invite a strong backlash from people who cooperated in the government's tax increase plans.
 厳しい上限が設定されていない復興予算に目を付け、本来なら通常予算で対応すべき事業まで計上したのでは、増税に協力する国民から反発が強まるだろう。

On this matter, the LDP is calling for screening the projects although the Diet is not in session. The Diet must scrutinize whether the reconstruction budget is being used appropriately.
 自民党はこの問題について、閉会中審査を求めている。復興予算が適切に使われているかどうか、国会は十分に精査すべきだ。

Implementation of the budget has been delayed in disaster-stricken areas. Only 60 percent of the 15 trillion yen earmarked for fiscal 2011 was used before the fiscal year ended on March 31, 2012. Concerns have been voiced about the differences between what is in the budget and what is needed.
 被災地では予算執行が遅れている。11年度分に計上した15兆円のうち、年度内の消化は6割にとどまった。予算メニューとニーズの食い違いも指摘されている。

Tatsuo Hirano, state minister for disaster reconstruction, said, "We want to compile a budget for next fiscal year that will give priority to disaster-stricken areas." The government must make arrangements quickly so that the necessary funds can be allocated to these areas.
 平野復興相は「来年度はできるだけ被災地に特化した予算を作りたい」との意向を表明した。政府は、被災地に必要な資金が行き渡るよう迅速に手当てすべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 10, 2012)
(2012年10月10日01時09分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-12 08:46 | 英字新聞

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