徳田議員辞職 政界去っても説明責任は残る

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 26, 2014
Resignation is a start, but Tokuda is still accountable for an explanation
徳田議員辞職 政界去っても説明責任は残る(2月26日付・読売社説)

It is only reasonable that lawmaker Takeshi Tokuda has chosen to resign from the Diet, given the seriousness of the recent scandal concerning his relatives’ alleged involvement in massive election irregularities. We feel that his decision comes too late.
 大がかりな選挙違反に親族が関わった以上、辞職は当然である。むしろ、遅すぎた決断だったと言えよう。

On Monday, House of Representatives member Tokuda submitted a letter of resignation in connection with the scandal over violations of the Public Offices Election Law by people tied to the Tokushukai hospital group. His move comes after he left the Liberal Democratic Party in November.
 医療グループ「徳洲会」の公職選挙法違反事件で、自民党を離党した徳田毅衆院議員が、議員辞職願を提出した。

Since the scandal came to light last autumn, Tokuda has been frequently absent from plenary sessions of the lower house and committee meetings of the chamber. In this respect, he should be criticized as an extremely irresponsible Diet member.
 事件が発覚した昨秋以降、徳田氏は衆院の本会議や委員会を繰り返し欠席している。国会議員として無責任に過ぎる。

Shortly after tendering his resignation as a lawmaker, Tokuda gave a press conference in which he issued an apology for the first time in the ongoing scandal. However, he should have sought accountability when investigators first delved into suspicions surrounding individuals involved in his election campaign.
今回、初めて記者会見で謝罪したが、自らの陣営に司直のメスが入った時点で、説明責任を果たすべきだった。

The Tokushukai group is believed to have put more than ¥200 million to use bribing election campaigners and in efforts aimed at securing Tokuda’s win in the December 2012 lower house election.
 徳洲会は一昨年12月の衆院選で、総額2億円超の資金を運動員らの買収に充てたとみられている。

Prosecutors arrested and indicted his mother, two of his sisters and some other figures in connection with the case, though his father, Tokushukai founder Torao Tokuda, has not yet been charged due to his suffering from an intractable illness. The elder Tokuda formerly served as a lower house member as well.
グループ創業者で、徳田氏の父の虎雄元衆院議員は、難病のため立件されていないが、母親と2人の姉らが逮捕、起訴された。

The sentencing session in the trial of one of Takeshi Tokuda’s sisters is scheduled for Wednesday. During the prosecution’s probe into the case, the sister, the family’s second daughter, acknowledged her involvement in the alleged electoral irregularities.
 捜査段階で事件への関与を認めた次姉の判決公判が、3月5日に迫っている。

Tokuda’s resignation comes just as he was set to be stripped of his seat on the basis of the election law’s guilt-by-association provisions. It is believed that the legislator timed his resignation announcement in consideration of the hearing of his sister’s trial.
公選法の連座制の規定により、徳田氏の失職は避けられない状況になっていた。
 辞職表明は、親族の公判日程をにらんでのことだろう。

Tokuda’s selfish hopes

During Monday’s press conference, Tokuda said, “I’d appreciate it if [the judicial authorities] acted with leniency [in passing judgment on the case].” The remark apparently reflected a desire on Tokuda’s part that his voluntary resignation from the Diet would encourage authorities to consider extenuating circumstances surrounding his relatives and other indicted figures in their sentencing decisions. We find this an extremely self-serving attitude.
 記者会見で、徳田氏は「寛大な措置をお願いしたい」と述べ、自発的に議員辞職することで親族らの情状酌量を求めた。虫が良すぎると言うほかはない。

The special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is investigating the case of the questionable transfer of ¥50 million in cash from Tokuda to former Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose. The focus of the probe, led by the prosecution’s special investigation squad, is whether the cash was intended to help finance Inose’s campaign for the Tokyo governorship in late 2012.
 東京地検特捜部は、現金5000万円が徳田氏から猪瀬直樹・前東京都知事に渡った問題について捜査を進めている。現金の趣旨が都知事選の選挙資金だったかどうかが、捜査の焦点だ。

If the money was offered to Inose to fund his election campaign, he and his election staff could be accused of neglecting to write the fund into a report on income and expenditures incurred through his electoral bid.
 仮に選挙資金であったのなら、選挙運動費用収支報告書に記載していなかった猪瀬氏側の刑事責任が問われる可能性もある。

At the press conference, Tokuda declined to comment on the purpose for which the cash was intended, despite having admitted that he and Inose discussed the gubernatorial election when they dined together. “I cannot talk [about the nature of the money],” he said.
 徳田氏は「猪瀬氏との会食で都知事選の話が出た」と述べたが、使途に関しては「私からはお話しできない」と明言を避けた。

Tokuda also declined to speak about the details of his conversation with Inose. He defended his refusal to comment, saying the scandal is under investigation. However, Inose’s acceptance of ¥50 million in cash from Tokuda is already known to the public. Given this, Tokuda, as a key figure in the case, should provide an appropriate explanation of the nature of the money transfer.
 捜査中であることなどを理由に、猪瀬氏とのやり取りも具体的には語らなかった。だが、5000万円の授受は公知の事実だ。徳田氏は一方の当事者として、きちんと説明すべきである。

The press conference also brought to light discrepancies in the explanations given by Tokuda and Inose about the funds. When asked whether Inose had asked him for the loan, Tokuda said, “I think so.”
 猪瀬氏の説明との食い違いも明らかになった。「猪瀬氏から貸してほしいとの依頼があったのか」との質問に、徳田氏は「そのように認識している」と答えた。

However, Inose has asserted that Tokuda himself made the offer to loan the money.
 猪瀬氏は、逆に徳田氏からの申し出だったと主張している。

Once again, we want Tokuda to explain his position on issues relevant to the scandal, including the Tokushukai group’s failed attempt to buy a hospital owned by the struggling Tokyo Electric Power Co.
 徳洲会が取得に動いた東京電力病院の売却問題も含め、徳田氏の詳細な説明を改めて聞きたい。

Tokuda’s resignation will mandate a by-election for his lower house seat in Kagoshima Constituency No. 2 in April. We hope the lessons learned from this scandal will be put into practice in how the election is conducted.
 徳田氏辞職に伴う衆院鹿児島2区の補選は4月に行われる。事件の反省に立った選挙にしたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 26, 2014)
(2014年2月26日01時31分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2014-02-28 07:18 | 英字新聞

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