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通常国会閉幕 首相問責で野党は何を得たか

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 28, 2013
Opposition parties lost more than they gained through censure
通常国会閉幕 首相問責で野党は何を得たか(6月27日付・読売社説)

The ordinary Diet session has closed in a terribly disorganized manner.
 あまりにお粗末な通常国会の幕切れである。

On Wednesday, the last day of the Diet session, the House of Councillors adopted a censure motion against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Democratic Party of Japan, Your Party, and other opposition parties voted for the motion in the opposition-dominated chamber.
 参院が安倍首相の問責決議を民主党、みんなの党など野党の賛成多数で可決した。

Then the opposition parties refused deliberations of bills in the upper house, behaving as if such refusal was reasonable. Key bills, such as those to revise the Electric Utility Law and the Daily Life Protection Law, were scrapped as a result. A bill to formulate a basic law on the water cycle, which was submitted as lawmaker-initiated legislation to protect water sources, was discarded as well.
 参院で野党は、当然のように法案審議を拒み、電気事業法改正案、生活保護法改正案や、水源地を守るための水循環基本法案など議員提出法案が廃案になった。

The censure motion was submitted by the People’s Life Party, Green Wind and the Social Democratic Party. They condemned Abe for his recent skipping of deliberations at the upper house Budget Committee, claiming the act “violates the Constitution.”
 問責決議は、生活の党、みどりの風、社民党の3党が提出したもので、参院予算委員会の審議に首相が出席しなかったことを「憲法違反」だと主張していた。

Clear political motive

It is clear the motive of the three parties was to use Abe’s absence from certain Diet deliberations as a tool to launch an offensive against the Liberal Democratic Party ahead of the upcoming upper house election. Do they really think such actions will be welcomed by the public? If so, we have to warn them that they have made a glaring mistake.
 参院選を前に、自民党批判の材料にしたいのが見え見えだ。こうした姿勢が国民に評価されると考えるのなら勘違いも甚だしい。

In the first place, were Abe’s actions really worthy of censure? Abe absented himself in response to the unilateral decision by Budget Committee Chairman Hajime Ishii, a DPJ member, to hold intensive deliberations at the committee meetings, using the chairman’s authority to hold such meetings. The ruling parties said a no-confidence motion against upper house President Kenji Hirata, which had been submitted earlier, should be dealt with first, and boycotted the deliberations.
 そもそも首相を問責するほどの事態だったのか。参院予算委は民主党の石井一委員長が職権で開会を決め、与党は参院議長不信任案の処理が先だとして欠席した。

That was the reason why Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga defended Abe’s actions, saying that the prime minister had “sound justification” for skipping the deliberations. We believe Suga’s explanation has some validity.
 菅官房長官が、首相が出席しないことに「正当な理由がある」と抗弁したのも一理ある。

On the other hand, it is extremely difficult to understand why the DPJ’s upper house caucus decided to vote for the censure motion.
 理解できないのは、問責決議に賛成した参院民主党である。

On Tuesday, the DPJ assured the ruling parties that it would prioritize the passage of important bills and thus will not agree with the censure motion.
 民主党は25日、重要法案の処理を優先し、問責決議案は採決しない方針を与党と確認していた。

However, the next morning, the DPJ abruptly changed its attitude, having been persuaded by Your Party and other opposition parties. If the DPJ had kept its initial stance, the key bills would have been able to pass the Diet smoothly.
 ところが、26日午前になると、みんなの党など他党に同調し、対応が一変した。民主党が採決反対を貫いていれば何の問題もなく、重要法案は成立しただろう。

We believe the DPJ itself still has a vivid memory of being distressed by censure motions, which lack legally binding power, when the party held the reins of government. DPJ Secretary General Goshi Hosono defended the party’s action by saying, “The LDP has no enthusiasm for completing the bills.” This remark is a transparent attempt to dodge the DPJ’s responsibility and shift blame to the LDP.
 民主党は与党を経験し、法的な効力のない問責決議の理不尽さを十分痛感したはずだ。細野幹事長は「自民党に法案を仕上げる熱意が全くない」と自民党を非難したが、責任転嫁にほかならない。

This Diet session’s top political issue was electoral system reform for the House of Representatives. Regarding that issue, the ruling parties exchanged documents with opposition parties confirming that “once the upper house election finishes, parties will immediately resume negotiations and reach a conclusion” on drastic reform, including a reduction in the number of lower house seats.
 今国会での最大の政治課題だった衆院選挙制度改革に関しては、与野党が、定数削減を含む抜本的な見直しについて「参院選後、速やかに各党間の協議を再開し、結論を得る」と文書で確認した。

However, if the parties continue insisting upon only their own ideas for reducing lower house seats and do not compromise, and if they continue their attitude of putting party interest above national interest, making such agreements will be absolutely meaningless.
 だが、各党が定数削減にこだわり、党利党略の主張を繰り返すだけであれば、こんな約束を何度交わしても意味がない。

Creating a third-party body

To break the impasse on the issue, Abe revealed a proposal at a press conference held after the end of the Diet session. “I would like to suggest establishing a third-party organization [on electoral system reform], which comprises experts from the private sector, within the Diet,” Abe said. We believe this is a sound proposal.
 膠着(こうちゃく)状態を打破するために、首相は国会閉会後の記者会見で、「民間の有識者による第三者機関を国会に設けることを提案する」と言明した。妥当な判断だ。

The organization should have binding power so the parties would comply with the conclusion of experts.
 各党が有識者の出した結論を尊重するよう、拘束力をもつ機関とすべきである。

Meanwhile, during the Diet session, the Commission on the Constitution in both the lower and the upper house has vigorously discussed the issue of amending the Constitution, even debating on the specific contents of each amendment. Constitutional amendments are likely to become a major point of contention in the upper house election. We urge parties to make concrete proposals during the election campaign, so that the voters can make informed decisions on the issue.
 今国会では、衆参の憲法審査会が、具体的な憲法改正内容にも踏み込んで論議を重ねた。参院選では憲法改正が大きな争点となる。有権者が判断しやすいよう、具体的な論戦を望みたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 27, 2013)
(2013年6月27日01時17分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-06-29 07:52 | 英字新聞

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