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演説拒否の参院 不要論を加速させる愚行だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 31, 2012)
After turning Noda away, can upper house justify existence?
演説拒否の参院 不要論を加速させる愚行だ(10月30日付・読売社説)

For the first time in the postwar era, a prime minister has not made a policy speech in the House of Councillors. This leaves an indelible stain on the history of constitutional government.
 戦後初の事態である。
 憲政史上に汚点を残す愚行と言うほかない。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda delivered his policy speech only in the House of the Representatives plenary session on the opening day of an extraordinary Diet session Monday. He could not do so in the upper house because the opposition parties controlling the chamber refused to comply with a request to hold a plenary session.
 野田首相の所信表明演説が衆院本会議だけで行われた。参院では、多数を占める野党が、本会議開会に応じなかったためだ。

Making a policy speech during a plenary session provides an important opportunity for a prime minister to present basic policies on international and domestic issues. In response to the speech, representatives from the ruling and opposition parties interpellate the government as full-scale parliamentary debate is launched. This procedure has been customarily observed in the Diet.
 所信表明演説は、首相が外交、内政にわたって基本方針を示す重要な機会だ。これを受けて与野党の代表質問で論戦が本格化するのが国会の慣例となっている。

The upper house caucuses of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, two major opposition parties, insist they refused to have Noda appear in the upper house plenary session because a censure motion against him had been approved in the same chamber during the previous ordinary session of the Diet.
 参院の自民、公明両党などは、先の通常国会で野田首相問責決議を可決した以上、首相を本会議場に迎えられないと主張する。

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Unreasonable excuse

"It was the desire of the upper house caususes not to invite him to make a policy speech," they said. "This does not mean we refuse to enter deliberations." Such sophistry is inexcusable.
「参院の意思で所信表明を求めなかった。審議拒否ではない」と釈明するが、こんな詭弁(きべん)は通らない。

Upper house censure motions against former Prime Ministers Yasuo Fukuda and Taro Aso were approved and they stepped down as a result. But they did so before the next Diet session convened. So Noda is the first prime minister to enter a Diet session after a censure motion had been approved.
 過去に問責された福田、麻生両首相は結果的に次の国会審議前に退陣した。問責された首相が次の国会に臨むのは初めてとなる。

The opposition camp must discontinue its pernicious tactics of refusing to enter Diet deliberations following approval of the censure motion and bring to an end its fruitless struggle with the ruling parties.
 野党は、問責決議に伴う審議拒否戦術という悪弊を断ち、不毛な応酬に終止符を打つべきだ。

In the first place, a censure motion in the upper house is not legally binding, unlike a no-confidence motion against the cabinet in the lower house. This is because a prime minister is not permitted to take any counteraction in the upper house, while a no-confidence motion in the lower house can lead to dissolution of that chamber. It also runs counter to the constitutional principle that gives the lower house precedence over the upper chamber.
 そもそも、参院の問責決議は、衆院の内閣不信任決議と違って、法的な拘束力はない。首相は参院に対し、衆院解散のような対抗手段がなく、衆院の優越を定めた憲法の理念にも反するからだ。

It is natural for the upper house not to be given the means to make a prime minister resign because members of that house serve six-year terms.
 6年間の安定した任期がある参院に首相を辞任させる手立てが認められないのは当然である。

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LDP's move baffling

The LDP's behavior on the matter is incomprehensible.
 理解し難いのは自民党だ。

As a reason for submitting the censure motion in question, the opposition parties cited the bill to increase the consumption tax rate as "betraying the will of the people." But the LDP, based on an agreement with the Democratic Party of Japan and Komeito, voted for the bill in the Diet. It is appalling that the LDP is brandishing the censure motion approved in the previous Diet session as a political tool in the current extraordinary session to attack the government.
 この問責決議は、消費増税法が「国民の声に背く」ことを理由に挙げたが、自民党は民自公3党合意に基づいて法案に賛成し、成立させた当事者である。自己否定する決議を今国会でも振りかざす理不尽さには唖然(あぜん)とさせられる。

Under the divided Diet, the opposition-controlled upper house has abused its powers repeatedly, throwing Diet business into chaos. It is lamentable for the LDP and Komeito to apparently take revenge on the DPJ-led government for the hardships they suffered in the upper house when they formed a coalition government.
 衆参ねじれ国会では、野党の制する参院が再三、権限を乱用し、国会を混乱させてきた。与党として参院に苦しめられた自民、公明両党が野党転落後、意趣返しを繰り返しているのは嘆かわしい。

An upper house Budget Committee session is scheduled to be held. This is because the opposition parties want to question the government on scandals involving Cabinet ministers. They plan to ask Noda to attend the session to take him to task for appointing Keishu Tanaka, who resigned as justice minister before the extraordinary Diet session convened.
 一方で、参院は予算委員会を開催する方向だ。閣僚の不祥事を追及するとともに、首相の出席を求めて田中慶秋前法相を起用した任命責任をただすためだという。

If they do this, how will the LDP and Komeito explain their inconsistency between refusing to allow the prime minister to deliver a policy speech in the upper house and holding a Budget Committee session with Noda in attendance?
 それが事実ならば、本会議での首相演説を拒否したこととの整合性をどう説明するのか。

Moreover, the LDP and Komeito upper house caucuses said they would refuse in principle to enter deliberations on government-proposed bills in other upper house committees. We wonder why the LDP is adopting such an opportunistic and inconsistent policy toward Diet business while it is trying to regain power?
 しかも、参院は、他の委員会での政府提出法案審議は原則、拒否するとしている。政権復帰を目指す自民党までが、このようなご都合主義で、ちぐはぐな国会対応を採用するつもりなのか。

If the upper chamber becomes a political football, it will inevitably inflame the smoldering argument under the divided Diet that the upper house is unnecessary.
 参院が「政争の府」に堕するようでは、ねじれ国会の下でくすぶる「不要論」が加速するのは避けられないだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 30, 2012)
(2012年10月30日01時18分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-11-01 06:05 | 英字新聞

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