衆院選きょう投票 日本再生へ誤りなき1票を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 17, 2012)
National revitalization, end to political stagnation crucial
衆院選きょう投票 日本再生へ誤りなき1票を(12月16日付・読売社説)

 ◆政治の停滞から脱却しよう◆

Voting today in the 46th House of Representatives election provides people with an important opportunity to choose a new political alignment that will bear the responsibility of charting the nation's future course.
 第46回衆院選は、きょう投票日を迎える。

It is hoped voters will cast their precious vote after examining the policies, capabilities and disposition of each party and candidate.
 日本の将来を担う、新しい政治のかたちを決める重要な選択の機会だ。各政党と候補者の政策や能力・資質をしっかりと見極め、貴重な1票を行使したい。

The world is going through drastic changes. This year, new regimes were inaugurated in China, North Korea, Russia, France and a number of other countries. U.S. President Barack Obama was reelected for a second term, and South Korea will elect a new president on Wednesday.
 世界は激動している。今年、中国、北朝鮮、ロシア、フランスなど多くの国で新体制が発足した。オバマ米大統領は再選され、韓国も19日に新大統領を選出する。

 ◆政権選択が最大の焦点◆

We should not allow only Japan to lag under our nation's climate of political indecisiveness.
 日本だけが、いつまでも「決められない政治」を続けるわけにはいかない。

Reviving the vigor of the nation's political system is the first and most urgent task if Japan wants to overcome deflation and the strong yen, attain both economic resuscitation and fiscal reconstruction, strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and rebuild its diplomacy vis-a-vis other Asian countries.
デフレ・円高を克服し、経済再生と財政再建を両立させる。日米同盟を強化し、アジア外交を再構築する。それには、何よりも政治の立て直しが急務だ。

The lower house election is for voters to choose an administration to lead the country. The biggest focal point in this poll is whether the Democratic Party of Japan-led alliance will continue to hold the reins of government or a coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito will retake the helm.
 衆院選は政権を選択する選挙である。民主党中心の政権の継続か、自民、公明両党の連立政権への回帰か。これが最大の焦点だ。

The DPJ is facing a strong headwind. It made a historical achievement when it enabled a package of bills related to the integrated reform of the social security and tax systems to pass through the Diet. But the party's campaign pledges for 2009 lower house election were in tatters, and its pledge of "taking key roles in the decision-making process away from bureaucrats and putting them into the hands of politicians" was only an empty slogan that caused much political confusion. We believe these factors are playing against the DPJ.
 民主党は、厳しい逆風を受けている。社会保障・税一体改革関連法の成立は歴史的成果だが、2009年衆院選政権公約(マニフェスト)は破綻し、「脱官僚」も掛け声倒れで政治を混乱させたことが響いているのだろう。

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12 parties field candidates

We highly commend the LDP with regard to the support it gave to allow the passage of the bills on the integrated reform of social security and tax systems even though it was an opposition party.
 自民党は、野党ながら一体改革に協力した点は評価できる。

But the LDP failed to act like a responsible party in some cases when it resisted entering deliberations on bills and jolted the DPJ-led government by presenting censure motions--all tactics engineered by exploiting the divided Diet, in which the ruling bloc lacks a majority of seats in the House of Councillors.
しかし、衆参ねじれを利用し、法案審議に抵抗したり、問責決議で民主党政権を揺さぶったりし、責任政党らしからぬ対応もあった。

This election saw candidates fielded by 12 parties--the biggest number since the current election system that combines single-seat constituencies and a proportional representation system was introduced in 1996. This resulted from splits within the DPJ and the inroads into national politics made by regional parties.
 今回は、小選挙区比例代表並立制の導入以来、最多の12党が候補者を擁立した。民主党の分裂と地域政党の国政進出が要因だ。

Before this election campaign officially kicked off on Dec. 4, new parties vying to form a "third political force" were formed or merged one after another. They undeniably put priority on these moves as an election strategy, with coordination of their policies and political philosophy taking a back seat.
 公示直前、「第3極」を目指す新党の離合集散が相次いだ。理念や政策のすり合わせを二の次にして、勢力結集による選挙対策を最優先したことは否めない。

To which party and candidate should we entrust our votes to reflect our will? The credibility of campaign pledges was severely hurt with the DPJ's botched efforts, but we should pay attention most to parties' policies.
 どの政党・候補者に思いを託せば良いのか。民主党の失敗でマニフェストの信頼は失墜したが、やはり重視すべきは政策だ。

With the ever-graying society, declining birthrate and worsening fiscal conditions, the role of the government is shifting from distributing benefits to distributing burdens. We should closely examine if parties' policies are backed up by concrete plans for revenue sources and if they have presented ways to realize their policies.
 少子高齢化の進展や財政悪化に伴い、政治の役割は、「利益」の分配から「負担」の分配へと移りつつある。政策に財源の裏付けはあるのか。実現への手順が示されているのか。きちんと精査することが大切である。

In regard to economic policy, an area of particular interest to the public, the DPJ in its election platform set the goal of a nominal 3 percent year-on-year growth rate, or around 2 percent after inflation. The party says it will place priority on helping nurture such emerging sectors as renewable energy and medical and nursing care services.
 国民の関心が高い経済政策で、民主党は名目3%、実質2%程度の目標成長率を掲げた。再生可能エネルギー、医療・介護など新産業の育成に重点を置くという。

The LDP, for its part, has attached high importance to reinvigorating the national economy and strengthening Japan's industrial competitiveness. Setting an inflation target of 2 percent, the party has committed itself to a bold monetary-easing policy, saying it will consider the advisability of revising the Bank of Japan Law to allow more collaboration between the government and the central bank.
 自民党は経済再生や産業競争力強化を重視する。2%の物価目標を設定し、日銀法改正も視野に政府・日銀の連携を強化して大胆な金融緩和を行うと踏み込んだ。

===

Diplomatic skills vital
 ◆外交目標の実現力は◆

The issue of Japan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade negotiations had earlier been expected to be a key campaign issue from the viewpoint of the nation's growth strategy. It is disappointing, however, that both the DPJ and the LDP refrained from going into specifics because both have a number of members who either oppose the free trade pact outright or are skeptical about it.
 成長戦略の観点で、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)参加問題が重要な争点となるはずだったが、民主、自民両党とも、党内に反対・慎重論を抱えるため、各論に入るのを避けたのは残念である。

Meanwhile, parties remain sharply split regarding energy policy.
 エネルギー政策では、各党の意見が鋭く対立した。

The DPJ has pledged to "reduce the number of operating nuclear power plants to zero by the end of the 2030s." Such parties as Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) and the Japanese Communist Party have taken the position of "doing away with nuclear power generation" within an even shorter time frame. The LDP, for that matter, has avoided producing a definite conclusion, saying the party will "determine the optimum makeup of power generation sources over a 10-year time frame."
 民主党は「2030年代の原発稼働ゼロ」を目指す。日本未来の党、共産党などはより早い「脱原発」を唱える。自民党は「10年以内に電源構成のベストミックスを確立」と早急な結論を避けた。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) has officially vowed to "break with" nuclear power, but its stance on the matter is incomprehensible because its leader, Shintaro Ishihara, has publicly denied the party made the antinuclear election pledge.
 日本維新の会は「脱原発依存」を掲げながら、石原代表が否定するなど、分かりにくい。

A party calling for terminating the nation's nuclear power generation should, as a matter of course, propose ways to cope with the adverse impacts of the "no-nuclear" option on the economy and employment, as well as measures to maintain Japan's nuclear energy-related technological levels. There have been no such proposals made in the lower house campaign and no in-depth debates on the matter.
 「脱原発」を主張する党は本来、経済・雇用への悪影響の克服や、原子力技術の維持の具体策を示す責任があるが、その動きはなく、議論は深まらなかった。

On diplomacy and national security issues, many parties have called for deepening the Japan-U.S. alliance, each pledging to do its best to defend Japan's territorial integrity, including that over the Senkaku Islands.
 外交・安全保障では、多くの党が日米同盟の深化を唱え、尖閣諸島など領土を守ると主張した。

The environment surrounding the nation's security has been increasingly severe as shown by the latest launch by North Korea of a long-range ballistic missile and China's military buildup and increasingly assertive maritime activities.
 北朝鮮の弾道ミサイル発射や中国の軍備増強と海洋進出など、日本の安保環境は厳しさを増している。どの党が、外交目標を実現する具体策や交渉力を持つのかを見極めることが重要だ。

We urge voters to determine correctly which party has specific measures and ability to negotiate effectively to realize the nation's diplomatic goals.

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Quality of politicians falling
 ◆複眼的に政策の吟味を◆

The possibility is high that the divided state of the Diet will continue even after the general election.
 衆院選後も衆参ねじれの状況が続く可能性が高い。

Voters, in this connection, should also consider whether they should grant a single party a stable majority in the lower chamber.
衆院第1党が安定多数を得た方が良いかどうかも、投票の判断材料だろう。

A coalition government comprising a number of parties might find it easier to reflect diversified views in government policies. However, the process of ironing out conflicting views within the parties in power could be protracted, leading to a political impasse.
 多くの党が連立すれば、多様な意見が施策に反映される反面、与党内の政策調整に手間取り、政治の混乱が続く恐れもある。

Many first-time candidates have been fielded in this general election, including those from the "third political force." If they win the election, they will have to immediately address a pile of policy tasks. Those in power, in particular, must fulfill the responsibility of appropriately using bureaucrats in steering affairs of state.
 今回は、第3極を含め、多くの新人が出馬している。当選すれば、直ちに多くの政策課題に取り組まねばならない。特に与党となれば、官僚を的確に使いこなし、国政を運営する責任を担う。

One major factor behind the stagnancy of politics in recent years is the deteriorating quality of politicians. Candidates' problem-solving capabilities and other personal qualities are therefore sure to be tested.
 最近の政治の停滞は、政治家の劣化が一因である。候補者の課題解決能力や資質が問われる。

Voters should make correct choices in casting their ballots by scrutinizing the comparative merits and demerits of policies and assertions of parties and candidates.
 有権者は、各党・候補の政策や主張を様々な視点から吟味し、誤りなき選択をしてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 16, 2012)
(2012年12月16日01時21分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-12-18 06:43 | 英字新聞

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