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衆院解散表明 首相の重い決断を支持する

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 16, 2012)
Prime minister's gutsy decision deserves credit
衆院解散表明 首相の重い決断を支持する(11月15日付・読売社説)

 ◆「1票の格差」是正を先行せよ◆

Out of the blue, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced he will dissolve the House of Representatives. Amid simmering opposition to an early dissolution within his Democratic Party of Japan, Noda has put everything on the line in a bid to bring an end to the nation's political gridlock.
 突然の衆院解散の表明だった。民主党内で早期解散への反対論が噴出する中、乾坤一擲(けんこんいってき)、中央突破を図ったのだろう。

During a Diet debate with Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, Noda said he would dissolve the lower house Friday if the opposition promises to pass a bill to reduce the number of lower house seats during next year's ordinary Diet session.
 野田首相が党首討論で自民党の安倍総裁に対し、衆院の定数削減を来年の通常国会で実現すると確約すれば、「16日に衆院を解散する」と言明した。

Abe initially gave no clear response to Noda's offer. But after the debate and a meeting with senior LDP figures, Abe said, "We'll do our best to conclude the issue in the ordinary Diet session." This paved the way for the lower house to be dissolved Friday.
 安倍氏は明言を避けたが、党首討論後、「通常国会で結論を得るべく全力を尽くす」と述べ、16日の衆院解散が固まった。

The lower house election is now set for Dec. 16 with official campaigning to start Dec. 4.
 衆院選は、12月4日公示―16日投票の日程で行われる予定だ。

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Prevent further distrust
 ◆政治不信の増幅を回避◆

The public approval rating for Noda's Cabinet has been languishing for months, so the DPJ could suffer a crushing defeat in the election. However, we applaud the prime minister's sensible and weighty decision to dissolve the chamber for a general election.
 内閣支持率が低迷しており、次期衆院選では、民主党の大敗も予想される。首相があえて解散・総選挙を断行することは、見識ある、重い決断と評価できる。

In August, Noda expressed his intention to dissolve the lower house "sometime soon." If he had let the year end without settling the dissolution issue, questions would have been raised over the credibility of his remarks. That could have fueled public distrust with politics.
 8月に「近いうち」の解散を表明しながら、何もせずに年を越すようでは、首相発言の信頼性に疑問符が付き、国民の政治不信が一段と高まりかねない。

The prime minister apparently wanted to initiate the dissolution on his own terms, rather than having his hand forced. Noda also probably felt it was to his advantage to hold the election before Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and other smaller parties can unite and form a third major political force.
 首相は、追い込まれる形でなく、主導権を持って解散を断行したい考えだった。日本維新の会など第3極の体制が整う前に、衆院選に臨む狙いもあろう。

Noda's decision drew howls of protest from DPJ members who oppose the dissolution and currently dominate the party. They fear the dissolution could lead to a political vacuum.
 民主党内の大勢を占める解散反対論者は、「解散は政治空白を招く」などと主張する。

However, if Noda puts off tackling key policy issues and unnecessarily attempts to cling to power at a time when his administration is standing on shaky ground, the nation would end up confronting an even more serious political vacuum in both domestic and foreign affairs.
 しかし、野田政権の基盤が弱体化した中で、重要な政策課題を先送りし、いたずらに延命を図る方が、内政、外交両面で、より深刻な政治空白をもたらす。

Some DPJ members who oppose Noda's decision are openly preparing to leave the party. Dissolving the lower house is a prerogative given to a prime minister. If DPJ members cannot accept their leader's decision, they have no choice but to walk away.
 野田首相の解散方針に反発する民主党議員は公然と離党の動きを見せている。解散は首相の専権事項であり、首相の決断に従えない以上、離党はやむを得まい。

Among people who assumed that the lower house would be dissolved within the year, concern grew as time passed that stalling on the dissolution would cause delays in formulating next fiscal year's budget and its enactment.
 年内解散を前提にすれば、解散日程が遅れるほど、来年度予算の編成や成立もずれ込むことが懸念されていた。
From the standpoint of staving off any negative impact on the economy that would inevitably arise if the budget were delayed, we consider Noda's setting the dissolution for Nov. 16--the earliest possible date--as reasonable.
景気への悪影響を抑える意味でも、最も早い「16日解散」は悪くない選択と言える。

A new administration is certain to be launched by the end of this year. We want it to formulate the budget for the next fiscal year and deal with pressing issues, such as measures to shore up the nation's economy and revamp its diplomacy.
 年内に発足する新政権が、来年度予算を編成し、景気対策や外交の立て直しなどの重要課題に取り組むことが望ましいからだ。

Irrespective of whether it was acceptable for Noda to push Abe to accept conditions for the dissolution during their debate--like forcing him to step on a cherished picture in a "fumie" allegiance test from long ago--we support the prime minister's exercise of his right to dissolve the chamber without flinching, even while his own party is torn over the issue.
 党首討論の場で、野党に「踏み絵」を踏ませるかのように、解散条件の受け入れを迫る手法の是非はともかく、野田首相が党内の反対論にひるまず、解散権を行使することは支持したい。

===

Trust among 3 parties crucial
 ◆民自公の信頼が大切だ◆

The Diet likely will remain divided even after the upcoming election. Accordingly, it will be very significant if the DPJ, the LDP and the other main opposition party, New Komeito, can maintain a relationship of trust to some extent and build a cooperative framework.
 衆院選後も、衆参のねじれ状況が続く可能性が高い以上、民主、自民、公明3党が一定の信頼関係を維持し、協力できる体制を構築しておく意義は小さくない。

Although there is not much time before the lower house is broken up, the ruling and opposition camps should work together to tidy up some urgent issues.
 解散までの時間は限られているが、与野党は協力して、喫緊の課題を処理すべきだ。

The three parties have agreed to pass Friday a bill allowing the government to issue deficit-covering bonds. To avoid the depletion of state coffers, the parties must make sure the bill passes before the lower house is dissolved.
 赤字国債の発行を可能にする特例公債法案は、民自公3党が16日の成立で合意した。国庫が底をつかないよう、解散前に確実に成立させねばならない。

Another crucial task is narrowing the disparity in the value of votes between the House of Representatives' most- and least-populated districts, thus putting an end to the electoral system's "state of unconstitutionality."
 衆院選の「1票の格差」を是正し、「違憲状態」の解消を図ることも不可欠である。

The DPJ should be blamed for not fulfilling its responsibility to seriously address the issue just because it wanted to postpone the dissolution.
 解散を先送りする思惑から、この問題に真剣に取り組んでこなかった民主党の責任放棄の罪は大きい。

The party still insists on handling two issues--reducing single-seat constituencies by five and cutting the number of seats in the proportional representation system--as a set.
民主党は今なお、小選挙区の「0増5減」と比例定数削減の一体処理に固執している。

This posturing appears to be a DPJ attempt to show its resolve to cut the number of lower house seats--a stance that will go down well with voters because it shows Diet members are willing to sacrifice themselves to save money before the consumption tax rate is increased. However, there is not enough time for the Diet to reach a consensus on this issue before the dissolution.
 「消費税率引き上げ前に国会議員が自ら身を切る」ため、有権者受けのする定数削減に積極的な姿勢を示すポーズだろうが、解散前に結論を出すのは明らかに時間的に無理がある。

To rectify the electoral system's unconstitutional state, the lower house should first pass a bill to reduce single-seat constituencies by five, and then rezone constituencies before holding a general election under the new system. This whole process, however, would take several months.
 「違憲状態」の解消には本来、「0増5減」の法案成立後、小選挙区の区割り作業を経て、新しい選挙区で衆院選を行う必要があるが、それには数か月を要する。

A more realistic option would be for the lower house to pass the bill before its dissolution and cut the number of seats in the proportional representation bloc and make other reforms during next year's ordinary Diet session. This is the minimum responsibility it should fulfill.
 解散前に、まず「0増5減」の法案を成立させる。定数削減やその他の制度改革は来年の通常国会で実現する。これが現実的であり、衆院の最低限の責務だろう。

If a general election was held without passing the electoral reform bill, judicial authorities might rule the election was unconstitutional and therefore invalid. Lawmakers must ensure this does not happen.
 「0増5減」さえ見送ったまま衆院選を行った場合、「違憲」として、選挙無効とする司法判断が出かねない。そうした事態は回避しなければならない。

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TPP, N-power should be debated
 ◆TPPや原発で論争を◆

The upcoming election will be a public evaluation of the DPJ's three-plus years in power. Another intriguing element will be whether the political system dominated by the DPJ and the LDP remains entrenched--even though they have become entangled in indecisive politics under the divided Diet--or an emerging third force will gain enough seats to seriously challenge this order.
 衆院選では、3年余の民主党政権の評価が問われる。衆参ねじれ国会の下、「決められない政治」が続いたが、民主、自民の2大政党が引き続き主導するのか、あるいは、第3極が勢力を大きく伸ばすのかも焦点となろう。

On the policy front, Noda will propose Japan participate in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership multinational free trade framework, aiming to make the TPP a major campaign issue. The LDP and other parties should not leave any doubt about their positions on this issue.
 政策面では、野田首相は、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉参加を掲げ、争点化する意向だ。自民党など他党も、あいまいな態度では済まされない。

We urge all parties to make campaign pledges that clarify their stances on the integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, nuclear power and energy policies, as well as diplomatic and security policies.
 社会保障と税の一体改革や、原発・エネルギー、外交・安全保障政策についても、各政党は政権公約(マニフェスト)を通じて、立場を明確にしてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 15, 2012)
(2012年11月15日01時38分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-11-17 05:21 | 英字新聞

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