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参院選公示 政治の「復権」へ論争を深めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 6, 2013
Deepen debate on issues to revitalize political system
参院選公示 政治の「復権」へ論争を深めよ(7月5日付・読売社説)

◆経済再生の具体策を吟味したい◆

Can Japan restore its national strength? We have come to a critical time, when we have an opportunity to make a choice with the future course of this country at stake. Voters must listen seriously to what political parties and candidates advocate, to get the measure of their policies and competence.
 国力を取り戻すことができるのか。日本の針路を左右する重要な選択の機会である。各政党と候補者の訴えに真摯(しんし)に耳を傾け、その政策と能力をしっかりと見極めたい。

Official campaigning for the 23rd election of the House of Councillors began Thursday.
 第23回参院選が公示された。

Japan is now confronted with many grave, difficult-to-solve problems:
 日本は今、多くの深刻かつ困難な課題に直面している。

How does it break away from decades of a deflation-plagued economy to make compatible its two goals of economic growth and rebuilding its deficit-ridden government? What steps must be taken to create a solidly sustainable social welfare system in the face of the rapidly aging society with a low birthrate? What should this country do to reconstruct its diplomacy amid the increasingly volatile global and Asian situations to ensure Japan’s national interest?
 長年のデフレ経済から脱却し、経済成長と財政健全化を両立させる。少子高齢社会でも持続可能な社会保障制度を構築する。世界・アジア情勢が不安定化する中、日本外交を再建し、国益を守る。

None of these tasks can be accomplished easily.
いずれも簡単には実現できない。

End sense of stagnation
 ◆閉塞感を打破できるか◆

Furthermore, an abnormal state of affairs has continued in which the prime minister changed every year since 2006.
 さらに2006年以降、首相が毎年交代する異常事態にある。

Because the prime minister and cabinet members changed so frequently up until the House of Representatives election last year, the central govenment’s bureaucratic machinery tended to go on the defensive, leaving the nation unable to build relationships of trust with foreign leaders and conduct full-fledged diplomatic activities.
 昨年の衆院選まで、首相や閣僚が短期間で交代し続けたため、官僚は「守り」に陥りがちだった。他国の首脳と信頼関係を築けず、本格的な外交が展開できない。

Because of the divided Diet, in which the opposition controls the upper house, bills of key importance have frequently failed to pass the legislature. As stagnant politics has become commonplace, the public has been enveloped in a sense of stagnation as well.
 衆参ねじれ国会で、重要法案が成立しない。政治の停滞が常態化し、国民に閉塞感が漂う。

Whether it is possible to end this situation is the biggest focus of attention in the upper house election.
 この状況を打破できるかどうかが参院選の最大の焦点だ。

In his first campaign speech for the upper house contest Thursday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared, “We keenly hope to eliminate the divided Diet, and we ask you, the electorate, to throw your strong support behind us,” stressing his goal of garnering a majority in the upper chamber through the combined strength of the Liberal Democratic Party and its ruling coalition partner, New Komeito.
 安倍首相は第一声で、「ねじれを解消したい。大きな力を与えてほしい」と訴え、自民、公明両党で参院の過半数の議席を獲得したい考えを強調した。

To be sure, his government will find it difficult to fully address big policy tasks without stabilizing its power base.
確かに、政権基盤が安定しなければ、大きな政策課題に取り組むのは難しい。

Banri Kaieda, leader of the No. 1 opposition Democratic Party of Japan, emphasized the same day, “We must confront the administration of Prime Minister Abe, which is going to disrupt the livelihood of the people.”
 民主党の海江田代表は、「国民の生活を破壊する安倍政権に対峙(たいじ)しなければならない」と力説した。

The opposition camp is determined to stop the ruling coaliton from gaining a majority in the upper house, arguing the importance of the opposition’s role of holding the ruling coalition in check to prevent it from going astray.
野党は、「与党の過半数阻止」を目指し、政権の暴走をチェックする役割の重要性を主張する。

Rating the Abe Cabinet
 ◆安倍政権をどう評価◆

While a House of Representatives election is a contest in which voters decide which party or parties should take power, an upper house election is an interim evaluation of the ruling parties by voters.
 衆院選が政権選択選挙なのに対し、参院選は与党の中間評価の意味を持つ。

In the upper house races in 2007 and 2010, the electorate handed down harsh verdicts against the government in what seemed like a backlash in reaction to the ruling coalition’s unexpectedly hefty victories in the previous lower house elections. This created the divided Diet.
07年、10年参院選では、衆院選で勝ちすぎた与党に対し、有権者が「揺り戻し」で厳しい審判を下し、ねじれを招いた。

If the Abe administration can reverse these precedents and put an end to the divided Diet, the administration will be able to establish a decision-making framework to decide on key policy matters swiftly and boldly by the next Diet election. It is likely this will lead to the revitalization of the nation’s political system.
 安倍政権が今回、この前例を覆し、衆参ねじれを解消できれば、次の国政選までの間、迅速かつ大胆な政策決定ができる体制を築くことができる。政治の復権につながる可能性があろう。

What voters should bear in mind in making their choice is how to evaluate the achievements of the Abe administration and weigh them against the policies being touted by each political party and candidate in the upper house race.
 有権者が投票の判断材料とすべきは、安倍政権の実績の評価と、各政党・候補者の政策である。

Concerning the current administration’s Abenomics economic policies, the LDP has included in its campaign platform an economic growth target of about 3 percent in nominal terms and a policy of tax incentives for investment and drastic corporation tax cuts.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」に関して、自民党は公約に名目3%程度の経済成長目標を掲げ、投資減税と法人税の大胆な引き下げを打ち出した。

It is laudable that the Abe government has brought about such results as the correction of the yen’s strength and higher stock prices, and achieved Japan’s participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.
 安倍政権が円高是正や株価上昇などの成果を上げ、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉参加を実現したことは評価できる。

On the other hand, some have said the benefits of Abenomics have only been enjoyed by some of the public.
 反面、その恩恵は国民の一部にとどまっていると指摘される。

Criticizing Abenomics as having caused such side effects as price hikes and radical fluctuations in interest rates, the DPJ asserts that it will seek to expand the income of ordinary citizens and middle-class people.
 民主党は、物価上昇や金利の乱高下などアベノミクスの「副作用」を批判し、生活者や中間層の所得を増やすと主張する。

However, the party’s growth strategy lacks concrete measures. It leaves something to be desired for a party that has been teetering on the brink after its crushing setback in the recent Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election.
 だが、その成長戦略は具体性を欠く。東京都議選で惨敗し、参院選は2大政党にとどまれるかどうかの瀬戸際なのに物足りない。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) calls for bolstering competitiveness and cuts in income and corporation taxes. Your Party aims to attain a nominal growth rate of 4 percent or more by pushing drastic regulatory reforms.
 日本維新の会は競争力強化や所得・法人税の減税を訴える。みんなの党は大胆な規制改革で名目4%以上の成長を目指すという。

No matter how attractive policies are, they will have no persuasive power unless accompanied by fiscal resources and a roadmap for their achievement. We ask the parties to deepen their debate on economic policies.
 どんなに魅力的な政策も、財源や実現への道筋が伴わないと、説得力を持たない。各党は経済論戦を深めてもらいたい。

In regard to nuclear policy, the LDP takes a positive view of restarting nuclear reactors after they are judged safe and promoting exports of nuclear power plants. This is consistent with the party’s emphasis on economic growth.
 原子力政策について、自民党は、安全と判断された原発の再稼働や原発輸出に前向きだ。成長重視の姿勢と一貫する。

The opposition parties are all in favor of immediately or eventually eliminating all nuclear reactors, including the DPJ’s call for “ending nuclear power generation in the 2030s.” But their stances are vague concerning measures to secure substitute energy sources and in harmonizing their antinuclear positions with measures for economic growth.
 野党は、民主党の「2030年代の原発稼働ゼロ」など、「原発ゼロ」で足並みをそろえた。ただ、代替エネルギーの確保策や経済成長との整合性はあいまいだ。

Probably because of the DPJ’s failure to carry out the policies it presented in its unrealistic campaign platform for the 2009 lower house election, all the parties’ campaign pledges are more like slogans and their abstractness is obvious. They must discuss more concrete measures regarding social security reform and diplomatic and security issues.
 民主党が非現実的な09年衆院選政権公約(マニフェスト)で失敗したためか、各党の公約はスローガン的で抽象的内容が目立つ。社会保障改革や外交・安全保障ではもっと具体策を論じるべきだ。

Constitution at issue
 ◆憲法改正の積極論議を◆

The Constitution is also an important bone of contention.
 憲法も重要な論点である。

The LDP, Ishin no Kai and Your Party call for easing the Diet requirements stipulated in Article 96 of the national charter for initiating constitutional revisions. New Komeito asserts it will discuss the requirement issue along with specific revisions, while the DPJ opposes revising the article ahead of other articles. But their positions leave room to approve easing the requirements.
 96条が定める改正の発議要件について自民、維新の会、みんなは緩和を主張する。公明は「改正内容とともに議論する」とし、民主も「先行改正」に反対だが、ともに緩和への余地も残している。

Whether constitutional revision will become realistic depends on the results of the upper house poll.
 参院選の結果次第で憲法改正が現実味を帯びる展開もあろう。

The parties and their candidates are urged to hold an active debate on how to define the Self-Defense Forces in the Constitution, as well as on such issues as the bicameral system and decentralization of power to find a new desirable governance system for the nation.
 自衛隊の位置づけや二院制、地方分権など、新しい「国のかたち」のあり方をめぐり、各党・候補には積極的な論争が求められる。

Elections, which are the bedrock of democracy, are a joint endeavor by parties, their candidates and voters. It is voters’ vital responsibility to closely examine the assertions of parties and their candidates before casting their valuable votes, without being affected by the mood of the moment.
 民主主義の根幹である選挙は、政党・候補者と有権者の共同作業だ。ムードに惑わされず、各党・候補者の主張をじっくり吟味し、貴重な1票を行使することが、有権者の重要な責任である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 5, 2013)
(2013年7月5日01時35分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2013-07-07 19:10 | 英字新聞

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