衆院解散 問われる各党の公約と実行力

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 18, 2012)
Political parties to be tested on their ability to deliver
衆院解散 問われる各党の公約と実行力(11月17日付・読売社説)

 ◆「第3極」の真価を見極めたい◆

The public's attention has recently been directed to whether the ruling Democratic Party of Japan will continue to lead the government or the two main opposition forces, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, will return to power. The focus has also been on the extent to which Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and other new political parties can expand their influence.
 民主党を中心とする政権の継続か、自民、公明両党の政権奪還か。日本維新の会など新党がどれだけ勢力を伸ばすか。

The upcoming House of Representatives election is expected to be critical as it could chart the course for the nation's future.
 日本の将来を左右する極めて重要な衆院選となろう。

On Friday, the lower house was dissolved. The general election is set for Dec. 16 with official campaigning to start Dec. 4. For all intents and purposes, the election battle has effectively kicked off.
 衆院が16日、解散された。衆院選は、12月4日公示、16日投開票の日程で行われる。事実上の選挙戦が始まった。

In the election, the DPJ will be evaluated on its performance during its three-year rule by three prime ministers since Yukio Hatoyama.
 今回の衆院選では、まず鳩山内閣以来3代、3年にわたった民主党政権の実績が問われる。

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Noda recognized for bold acts

 ◆民主党に不利でも決断◆

During the 2009 lower house election campaign, the potential for a change in government was high, and the DPJ earned a stunning victory. But many voters appear to be suffering from the present political disorder and a decision-making stalemate as result of the party's win.
 2009年衆院選では「政権交代」ムードが先行し、民主党が大勝した。その結果もたらされた国政の混乱と停滞を多くの有権者が痛感したのではないか。

There are plenty of issues that the DPJ has mishandled. These include diplomatic missteps by the Hatoyama Cabinet when it pursued politician-led handling of state affairs in the wrong way and the ineptitude of Naoto Kan's administration in addressing the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 誤った政治主導を振りかざした鳩山内閣の外交迷走、菅内閣の原子力発電所事故対応の不手際など、失政の具体例には事欠かない。

At a press conference Friday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said: "I previously said I would ask for a public mandate once the integrated reform of the social security and tax systems was achieved. I dissolved [the lower house] to fulfill this promise."
 野田首相は記者会見で、衆院解散の目的について「社会保障と税の一体改革を実現した暁には、近いうちに信を問うと言った。その約束を果たすためだ」と説明した。

It is indeed a historic accomplishment that the prime minister was able to pass integrated reform bills, which center on bills to raise the consumption tax rate, in the divided Diet, where the House of Councillors is controlled by the opposition. We can understand that he respected an agreement with the LDP and Komeito, which cooperated with Noda's party to enact the historic bills.
 首相が、消費税率引き上げを柱とする一体改革関連法の成立を衆参ねじれ国会で実現したことは、確かに歴史に残る功績である。それに協力した自公両党との合意を大切にする姿勢は理解できる。

We also applaud Noda for following through with the dissolution even though many of DPJ members, including Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi, opposed the breakup of the chamber and election prospects were dim for the party.
 極めて選挙に不利な状況にありながら、首相が輿石幹事長ら党内の反対を押し切り、解散を断行したことも評価に値しよう。

The public approval rating for Noda's Cabinet has also been declining. In a recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey, the rating plunged to 19 percent, the lowest since the Cabinet's inauguration in September of last year. Furthermore, DPJ members continue to leave the party, with no end in sight to the defections.
 野田内閣の支持率は低迷し、読売新聞の世論調査では昨年9月の内閣発足以来、最低の19%と危機的水準にある。民主党からの離党に歯止めがかからない。

Noda said at the press conference Friday: "We have an ongoing political situation in which we are unable to make decisions. By dissolving [the lower house], I'd like to put an end to this evil practice."
 一方で首相は、「決められない政治が続いてきた。その悪弊を解散で断ちたい」とも述べた。

Regardless of the election outcome, the Diet will remain divided at least until next summer's upper house election, as no party holds a majority of seats in the chamber. To move politics forward, it is essential for parties to cooperate with one another or form a coalition.
 衆院選の結果がどうであれ、参院で過半数の議席を有する政党はなく、少なくとも来夏の参院選までは衆参のねじれは解消しない。政治を前に動かすには、政党間の連携や連立が不可欠だ。

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Interparty cooperation needed

 ◆民自公の協調は必要だ◆

The increase in the consumption tax is only halfway complete based on the agreement by the DPJ, the LDP and Komeito. To achieve the intended reform of the social security and tax systems, the three parties are likely to be urged to maintain their cooperative stance after the election.
 民主、自民、公明の3党合意に基づく消費増税は道半ばである。改革を成し遂げるためにも、選挙後、民自公協調路線を維持することが求められよう。

A stable government with either of the two major parties at its center is needed most for Japan's revival. We consider it unfavorable to have a coalition government consisting of multiple parties since consensus building would be slow going.
 日本の再生にとって最も必要なのは、2大政党のいずれかを軸とする安定した政権である。合意形成に手間取るような多党化は、好ましくない。

However, several new parties, including Ishin no Kai and Taiyo no To (The Sunrise Party), recently have emerged one after another, aiming to become a third political force following the DPJ and the LDP.
 しかし、民主、自民両党に次ぐ第3極を目指そうと日本維新の会、太陽の党など新党が続々と誕生した。

With the unprecedented number of more than 10 parties campaigning, efforts are also under way to unite them. The new parties aim to attract voters frustrated with established political parties.
10を超える党の乱立という異例の展開で、勢力結集へ模索が続く。既成政党への不満の受け皿になることを狙っている。

Many former lower house members who have just lost their Diet seats due to the dissolution are quitting the parties they belonged to and joining new parties, in an apparent attempt to survive the upcoming general election. We must seek to find the true value of a potential third political force.
 前議員が新党に走る動きは、生き残りのためではないか。第3極の真価を見極める必要がある。

We expect each party to clarify its vision for the future of Japan and list its policies according to priority.
 各党は、日本のあるべき「国家像」を明確にし、政策の優先度を示してもらいたい。

The public has completely lost faith in the DPJ's manifesto made in the 2009 lower house election. The party's unfulfilled handout policy pledges, such as the child-rearing allowance of 26,000 yen per month and the abolition of expressway tolls, have failed to materialize due to a lack of financing. This has only led to an amplification of voters' distrust in politics.
 09年衆院選での民主党政権公約(マニフェスト)に対する信頼は失墜した。月2万6000円の子ども手当や高速道路無料化など実現しなかったバラマキ政策は財源の裏付けを欠いていた。政治不信を増幅する原因になった。

Parties must not repeat the mistake of competing with each other to win an election by making policy promises that appeal to voters, but which are unfeasible.
 国民の歓心を買うため、実現性のない、大衆迎合の政策を競う愚を繰り返してはなるまい。

In drafting new election pledges, parties should consider that a bill could fail without the cooperation of other parties in the divided Diet. Only setting deadlines for realizing election promises and other numerical targets is meaningless.
 新たな公約の作成に際しては、ねじれ国会で、他党の協力なしに法案が成立しないことを考えるべきだ。政策の達成期限や数値目標だけを示しても、意味はない。

Noda again stressed his policy to achieve zero nuclear power generation in the 2030s.
 野田首相は、30年代に「原発稼働ゼロ」を目指す方針を改めて強調した。

The upcoming election will determine "whether the party aiming to depart from the nation's dependence on nuclear power or the party promoting the conventional energy policy will win," said the prime minister.
「脱原発依存の方向感を持つ政党が勝つのか、従来のエネルギー政策を進める政党が勝つのかが問われる」と位置づけた。

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Policies must be scrutinized
 ◆大衆迎合の政策避けよ◆

People's Life First, Your Party and Ishin no Kai also advocate denuclearization as one of their policies.
 国民の生活が第一、みんなの党、日本維新の会なども「脱原発」を唱えている。

However, we doubt zero nuclear power generation is a realistic policy. Many issues must be resolved before such a target can be achieved, such as securing alternative energy sources, raising electricity rates, and addressing the negative effects on the economy and employment.
 だが、代替エネルギーの確保や電気料金の値上げ問題、経済・雇用への悪影響など多くの懸案があり、脱原発が果たして現実的な政策と言えるのか、疑問である。

The LDP plans to support nuclear power plants whose safety has been confirmed, with a pledge by the government to accept responsibility for their reactivation. We expect the LDP to present its medium- to long-term energy policy in detail.
 自民党は「政府が責任を持って再稼働する」として安全性を確認した原発は活用する考えだ。中長期のエネルギー政策についても具体的に提示してほしい。

Additionally, there are a number of other important issues that should be addressed, such as a growth strategy for reviving the Japanese economy; Japan's possible participation in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact; social security; territorial and sovereignty matters; and national security.
 争点は、このほか、日本経済再生のための成長戦略、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)参加問題、社会保障、領土・主権問題、安全保障など数多い。

Voters should carefully scrutinize the respective candidates' policies and capabilities to execute them so they can make an informed choice without regret.
 各政党、各候補の政策とその実行能力を厳しく吟味し、後悔しない「選択」を目指したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 17, 2012)
(2012年11月17日01時30分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-11-19 07:06 | 英字新聞

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