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参院選へ 「ねじれ」に終止符打てるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 30, 2013
Can Abe put an end to divided Diet in coming upper house poll?
参院選へ 「ねじれ」に終止符打てるか(6月29日付・読売社説)

 ◆デフレ脱却へ具体策を競え◆

How will voters judge the performance of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration over the past six months?
 安倍政権半年の実績を有権者は、どう審判するだろうか。

The government has formally decided to hold a House of Councillors election on July 21, with official campaigning to start Thursday.
 政府は、参院選の日程について7月4日公示、21日投開票とすることを正式に決定した。

The number of constituencies in which one upper house seat is up for grabs has increased by two to 31 following the implementation of a measure to narrow vote-value disparities. The results of the battles in these constituencies are likely to determine the outcome of the whole election. The upcoming poll will also be closely watched as the nation’s first national election in which the use of the Internet will be allowed for campaigns.
 参院の選挙区は「1票の格差」の是正措置により、1人区が従来より2増の31となった。その勝敗が全体の趨勢(すうせい)を決めるだろう。インターネットを利用した選挙運動が初めて導入されることでも、注目される国政選挙となる。


Abe to face a test
 ◆安倍政権の実績に審判◆

The key focus of the election is expected to be whether the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito will be able to secure a majority of seats in the upper house and thus put an end to the current divided Diet.
 最大の焦点は自民、公明の両党が参院で過半数を制し、衆参のねじれを解消できるかどうかだ。

If the ruling camp achieves this goal, the Abe administration will be on firmer footing, making the nation’s politics more stable. After the July upper house race, a national election will not be held for as long as three years. This would help create an environment in which the Abe administration can tackle issues thoroughly without worrying about elections.
 解消できれば安倍首相の政権基盤は強まり、政治が安定する。次の国政選挙まで最大3年あるため、選挙を意識せず、課題にじっくり取り組む環境が生まれる。

Abe was in office when the Diet became divided after his LDP lost in the upper house election held six years ago. Abe said the divided Diet has thrown politics into confusion, significantly weakening Japan’s national power. “We must put an end to the divided Diet,” he said.
 安倍首相は、6年前の参院選で敗北して衆参のねじれが生じた時も首相だった。ねじれによる政治の迷走で国力が大きく失われたとし、「衆参のねじれに終止符を打たねばならない」と主張している。

In the meantime, the ruling and opposition parties have repeatedly confronted each other. In light of this, deliberations on bills were often stalled, particularly in the upper house, including when the LDP itself was an opposition party.
 この間、与野党は対立を繰り返した。自民党の野党時代も含め、とくに参院では法案審議が滞った。

On Wednesday, the closing day of the ordinary Diet session, the opposition-controlled upper house passed a censure motion against the prime minister. Four key government-sponsored bills, including one to revise the Electricity Business Law, were scrapped as a result. This is a prime example.
 通常国会閉会日の26日、参院の野党が首相問責決議を可決し、その影響で電気事業法改正案など政府提出の重要4法案が廃案になったことは象徴的だ。

The nature and purpose of the upper house should be also addressed in the upcoming election, as the chamber has turned into a stage for political maneuvering.
 参院選では「政局の府」と化した参院の在りようも問われる。

For the Democratic Party of Japan, the election is likely to be a battle in which its very existence is at stake. The DPJ is likely to face a test of voter sentiment on efforts by President Banri Kaieda and its other leaders to rebuild the party, as well as on its handling of Diet affairs as the largest opposition party.
 民主党は党の存亡をかけた戦いになる。海江田執行部による党再建の現状や、野党第1党としての国会対応を有権者が判断する。

Opposition comeback?
 ◆民・維の巻き返しは◆

The House of Representatives election last December boosted the presence of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) in the Diet, but the party has since lost strength for reasons such as the controversial remarks on so-called comfort women by its coleader Toru Hashimoto. In the July election, Hashimoto and fellow coleader Shintaro Ishihara will be tested on their ability to solidify its position in the upper house.
 日本維新の会は、衆院選後、国会で一定の存在感を示したが、橋下共同代表のいわゆる従軍慰安婦問題を巡る発言などで失速気味だ。石原共同代表との二枚看板で、参院に地歩を築けるかどうか。

Meanwhile, both Your Party and the Japanese Communist Party significantly increased their seats in the recent Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election. They now aim to expand their public support in a national election.
 東京都議選で議席を大幅に伸ばしたみんなの党、共産党は、全国でも支持拡大を狙っている。

The parties likely will clash over Abenomics, a set of economic measures promoted by the Abe administration.
 政策で争点になるのは、まず安倍政権が推進している経済政策「アベノミクス」の評価だ。

To get the national economy out of deflation and achieve growth, Abe has emphasized that there is no alternative to carrying out his so-called three-arrow policy package of drastic monetary easing, flexible fiscal measures and a growth strategy.
 首相は、デフレから脱却し、日本経済を成長させるには、大胆な金融緩和、機動的な財政政策、民間投資を喚起する成長戦略の「3本の矢」を進める道しかないと強調している。

However, as Abe has acknowledged, the people have yet to feel an economic recovery. So to win public understanding it is necessary to explain to them in detail about the aims and effects of the economic revitalization to be brought on by the full implementation of Abenomics.
 首相が言うように、国民が景気回復を実感するまでには至っていない。アベノミクスによる経済再生の狙いと効果を国民に丁寧に説明し、理解を得る必要がある。

The DPJ, on the other hand, has criticized the government’s economic measures, saying they have caused “strong side effects” such as price hikes amid no raise in wages and an increase in housing loan interest rates.
 一方、民主党は、賃金が上がらない中での物価上昇、住宅ローン金利の上昇など「強い副作用」が起きていると批判している。

How would the DPJ reconstruct the economy, then? Its argument will lack persuasive power unless it presents concrete measures. The party said it would “take good care of workers, boost income and enrich and expand the middle class.” But such abstract imagery falls short of explanations.
 では、民主党ならどのように経済を立て直すのか。具体策を示さねば説得力はない。「働く人を大切にし、所得を増やし、中間層を厚く豊かにする」といった抽象論では、説明不足である。

In its campaign platform, the DPJ points to hikes in electricity and gas rates as “a rash of price increases” under the Abe administration. But these were largely caused by a sharp increase in fuel imports for the operation of thermal power plants that substituted for the nation’s nuclear power plants, most of which had their operations suspended under the DPJ-led administration.
 民主党の公約は「値上げラッシュ」として電気やガス料金の値上げを強調しているが、民主党政権でほとんどの原子力発電所が止まり、代替の火力発電用燃料の輸入が急増した影響が大きい。

The DPJ’s criticism of price hikes must be questioned in terms of its consistency with its policy to end reliance on nuclear power generation.
 脱原発政策との整合性も問われよう。

Worth watching in the upcoming upper house election will be whether the LDP, Nippon Ishin no Kai and Your Party, which show a keen interest in revising the Constitution, will be able to secure two-thirds or more of the seats. If this threshold is cleared, it will create a political environment in which initiating constitutional revision will be possible for the first time under the current national charter.
 参院選では、自民党、日本維新の会、みんなの党など憲法改正に積極的な政党が参院で3分の2以上を確保するかも見所だ。改正の発議が可能となる政治環境が現行憲法下で初めて整うことになるからである。

Debate in concrete terms
 ◆憲法は具体案の論議を◆

Concerning Article 96, which sets out procedures for constitutional amendments, the LDP, Ishin no Kai and Your Party call for easing the requirements to initiate such revisions. The DPJ, Komeito and People’s Life Party either wish to maintain the article or oppose its revision ahead of other articles.
 憲法改正の手続きを規定した96条の改正問題については、自民、維新、みんなの3党が発議要件の緩和を訴えている。民主、公明、生活の党は、96条堅持、あるいは先行改正に反対の立場だ。

Issues regarding the the Constitution are wide-ranging.
 憲法を巡る論点は幅広い。

In its draft for constitutional revision, the LDP proposes revising Article 9 to call for the establishment of a national defense force while retaining the article’s spirit of pacifism, and to oblige the state to secure Japan’s territorial integrity.
 自民党は憲法改正草案で、9条について、平和主義を継承した上で国防軍の設置、領土の保全義務などを規定すると提案した。

Among constitutional provisions, the current Article 9 is the most distant from reality. The existence of the Self-Defense Forces should be clarified. Komeito, which aims to add new provisions to the current Constitution, has said it will study how to recognize the SDF in the national charter. This is a laudable move.
 9条は最も現実と乖離(かいり)している。自衛隊の存在を明確にすべきである。公明党が、現行憲法に新しい条項を加える「加憲」の立場ながら、自衛隊の位置づけを検討課題としたのは評価したい。

Ishin no Kai calls for merging the two chambers of the Diet into one and adopting a system to elect a prime minister by popular vote. Your Party proposes a provision on states of emergency. The JCP and Social Democratic Party stress their stance of maintaining the Constitution as it is.
 維新の会は、衆参合併による一院制や首相公選制を掲げた。みんなの党も非常事態条項を盛り込むことを明記した。共産党、社民党は護憲を強調している。

This is the first time that concrete points of constitutional revision will become bones of contention in an upper house poll. Discussing the national charter is tantamount to thinking about the national security environment, the system of government and the status of human rights.
 参院選で、憲法改正の具体的な内容が争点になるのは初めてだ。憲法を論じるのは、安全保障環境や統治機構、人権の現状を考えることでもある。

The parties will be asked to deepen debate on the matter during a campaign period.
選挙戦の中で大いに議論を深めてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 29, 2013)
(2013年6月29日01時28分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-07-01 08:03 | 英字新聞

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