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社説:早期解散論 その発想はあざとい

November 12, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: PM should carefully consider points of contention, timing of general election
社説:早期解散論 その発想はあざとい

Speculation is growing within the political world that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will likely dissolve the House of Representatives to call a snap general election by the end of this year. According to speculation, the prime minister will decide later this month to postpone the consumption tax hike from 8 to 10 percent, which is scheduled for October 2015, and ask voters to support his decision through an election.
 安倍晋三首相が年内の衆院解散・総選挙に踏み切るのではないかとの見方が広がっている。来年10月の消費税率10%への引き上げの先送りを首相が判断し、民意を問うというシナリオが取りざたされている。

The ruling coalition has failed to make sufficient efforts to lay the groundwork for the tax increase. Moreover, the ruling bloc appears to be attempting to take advantage of public opinion against the tax hike to win an election. Serious questions remain as to whether a delay in the consumption tax increase should be recognized as a sufficient reason for calling a general election.
 政権与党が税率引き上げの環境を整える努力を尽くさず、しかも増税に慎重な世論に乗じて選挙にまで利用しようという発想が感じられる。民意を問う大義たり得るか、今の議論には疑問を抱かざるを得ない。

Legislators are far from holding in-depth general debate in the Diet. Both ruling and opposition parties have already begun preparing for an election as speculation is spreading from the ruling coalition about the schedule for dissolving the chamber and holding an election.
 腰を据えた国会論戦からはもはや遠い雰囲気だ。与党からは解散や選挙日程をめぐる観測が流れ、与野党は選挙準備に動き出している。

Despite these moves, Prime Minister Abe has denied intending to dissolve the lower house anytime soon saying that he has "not decided at all" about the timing of an election. Whether to dissolve the chamber is entirely up to the prime minister. There are observations among those within the political world that ruling coalition politicians are deliberately spreading rumors about a possible dissolution in a bid to keep opposition parties in check as the ongoing extraordinary Diet session is nearing an end.
 首相は解散について「(時期は)何ら決めていない」などと説明している。実際に解散するかは首相の胸三寸だ。解散説は臨時国会の終盤を控え、与党による野党のけん制が狙いとの見方も依然としてある。

However, if the prime minister were to be seriously considering dissolving the chamber, the reason for that would be called into question. A senior government official pointed out that a delay in the consumption tax hike could be a justifiable reason for calling a general election because such a decision would overturn an agreement on the tax increase between the now ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), its coalition partner Komeito and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) which is now the largest opposition party. However, is this really so?
 だが、本当に解散を検討しているのであれば、その理由が問われる。消費増税先送りについて政府高官は「増税の自公民3党合意をひっくり返すのだから(国民に)信を問う大義名分になる」と語っている。
 国民の審判をもう一度仰ぐという理屈は一見もっともらしく聞こえる。だが、本当にそうだろうか。

The government should go ahead with the consumption tax increase to 10 percent as scheduled after addressing outstanding issues, such as lessening the burden on low income earners and slashing the number of seats in the lower house, which the legislature has failed to act on for a long time. The ruling coalition has not been enthusiastic about working on these issues.
 10%への増税は本来、生活弱者の負担軽減策や、放置されたままの衆院定数削減など「宿題」を片付けて予定通り行うべきものだ。これまで与党がこうした課題の克服に真剣に取り組んできたとは言えまい。

Uncertainty over economic conditions, which some ruling coalition legislators cite as the reason for calling for a delay in the tax hike, is attributable to the failure of "Abenomics," the economic policy mix promoted by the Abe government, to produce sufficient results. If the economic conditions were to be so serious that the tax hike needs to be postponed, the government should scrutinize economic stimulus measures it has so far implemented.
 与党内で先送り論の根拠とされる景気動向への不安にしてもアベノミクスが想定通りに運ばない反映ではないか。増税を先送りするほど状況が悪いというのであれば、必要なのは経済政策の検証であろう。

In the campaign for the previous general election, the LDP, Komeito and the DPJ asked voters to accept the tax hike because these main political parties were aware of the need to share the responsibility for increasing the tax burden on the public. These parties attempted to share a common view on tax and social security by putting aside their struggle for power.
 さきの衆院選で自公民が増税実施の3党合意を掲げたのは国民に痛みを強いる責任を主要政党が分担する意味があったはずだ。政争と一線を画して税と社会保障の共通認識を得ようという政治の知恵だった。

If the ruling coalition were to scrap the three-party accord and pledge a postponement of the tax hike in the next lower house race, the efforts the three parties have patiently made to form a consensus among them would come to nothing.
 ところが合意をほごにし、増税先送りを選挙で掲げるようでは、こうした努力を台無しにしかねない。

Some within the ruling coalition fear that it will be increasingly difficult to run the government next year when the administration needs to draft security bills as Komeito is wary of expanding the role Japan should play in global security. The economic outlook is also increasingly uncertain. If ruling party politicians were to be calling for a dissolution of the lower chamber because they believe they can rely on the relatively high approval rating for the Abe Cabinet, they should be criticized as being sly.
 経済動向が不透明なうえ、公明党との調整が難航必至の安全保障法制の整備も控えるなど、与党には来年以降の政権運営を危ぶむ見方があるようだ。増税先送りを奇貨として、世論の追い風をあてこんだ解散論とすれば、あざとさすら感じる。

The DPJ has insisted that the consumption tax hike and expansion of the social security system should be implemented as a package. Concerns remain that voters could be forced to make a choice without clear points of contention or in-depth policy debate if a general election were to be called quickly. Prime Minister Abe should cautiously consider points of contention during a lower house race and select the timing of the election.
 消費税率引き上げをめぐっては民主党も社会保障拡充などとのパッケージ化が前提だと説明している。急な選挙が行われた場合、争点が定まらず、政策論争も深まらないまま有権者が選択を迫られる懸念もぬぐえない。民意を問うテーマと時期について、首相は慎重に判断すべきだ。

毎日新聞 2014年11月12日 02時35分
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by kiyoshimat | 2014-11-13 16:32 | 英字新聞

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