代表質問 不平等克服へ政策競え

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 27
EDITORIAL: Parties should focus on correcting social disparities, not election
(社説)代表質問 不平等克服へ政策競え

How can we overcome social disparities that have become too commonplace today?
 私たちの社会で日常化している不平等を、どう克服していくべきか。

This was one of the urgent questions posed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Diet on Jan. 26, the first day of this year’s questioning session by lawmakers representing their parties.
 きのう始まった国会の代表質問では、この喫緊の課題に向けた質疑も交わされた。

The Diet has a host of other crucial issues to address, such as the economy, diplomacy and national security, as well as the money scandal embroiling Akira Amari, the minister in charge of economic revitalization.
 経済成長や外交・安全保障政策、そして甘利経済再生相の金銭授受疑惑の解明――。いずれも、いま国会が取り組むべき重要な課題である。

But the growing disparities around the nation between regular and part-time employees, men and women, the big cities and the provinces and so on, are in special need of prompt attention.
 ただ、正社員と非正社員、男と女、都市と地方など日本社会で拡大しつつある様々な格差、すなわち不平等の解消は、とりわけ対応が急がれる。

Democratic Party of Japan leader Katsuya Okada said, “We would like to propose specific measures for correcting the disparities and ensuring a fair distribution of benefits.”
 民主党の岡田代表は「格差是正、公正な分配のための具体策について提案したい」と語り、

One of the initiatives he proposed was to increase the per-child amount of child-care benefits, and to raise the upper age limit for eligible children. To secure funding, Okada suggested increasing tax on financial incomes and reinforcing the progressivity of income and inheritance taxes.
児童手当の1人あたり支給額や児童扶養手当の支給対象年齢の引き上げなどを挙げ、財源として金融課税や所得税・相続税の累進強化を示した。

Prime Minister Abe promised in his policy speech to take further steps to realize his “equal pay for equal work” concept. Okada asked if Abe’s objective matches the DPJ’s demand for “equal treatment” of regular and part-time employees.
 また、安倍首相が施政方針演説で「実現に踏み込む」とした同一労働同一賃金について、もともと民主党が訴えているような正規と非正規雇用の「均等待遇」をめざすのかとただした。

Japan Innovation Party leader Yorihisa Matsuno referred to the number of people who are not paying into the national pension program and demanded swift action.
 維新の党の松野代表も、国民年金保険料を払っていない人などの数字をあげて、早急な対応を求めた。

According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the relative poverty rate in Japan was 16.1 percent in 2012, which represented a gradual year-on-year growth. Limited to younger households consisting of members under 30 years old, the rate was 27.8 percent, and a much higher 54.6 percent for single-parent households.
 厚生労働省の調査によれば、日本の相対的貧困率は2012年で16・1%。年々少しずつ増加している。30歳未満の若年世帯では27・8%、1人親世帯では54・6%にも達している。

Acknowledging this reality, Abe replied, “We will continue to review and improve matters related to employment and social security to prevent the disparities from becoming permanent.”
 首相もこうした現状を踏まえ、「格差が固定化しないよう雇用環境の改善や社会保障環境の改善の見直しを行っていく」と応じた。

But the prime minister’s response to Okada’s proposals was somewhat too abstract to be satisfactory.
ただ、岡田氏の提案への首相の答弁はやや抽象的で、物足りなさが残った。

In his policy speech on Jan. 22, Abe attacked opposition parties and said, “An attitude of spending all one’s time simply criticizing, without putting forward any counterproposals, and expecting that everything will ‘all work out somehow’ is truly irresponsible towards the public.”
Abe then addressed the opposition camp, saying, “Instead, shall we not pit concrete policies against each other and hold constructive discussions?”
 首相はさきの施政方針演説で、「批判だけに明け暮れ、対案を示さず、後は『どうにかなる』。そういう態度は、国民に対して誠に無責任だ」と野党を批判し、「具体的な政策をぶつけあい、建設的な議論を行おう」と呼びかけた。

When he said that, he must have been thinking of the attitude of the DPJ and other parties toward the national security legislation and constitutional amendment. But surely, it is anything but “irresponsible” to resist any policy that goes against the Constitution. And it is only natural to be alarmed by the prime minister’s resolve to change the Constitution at all costs.
 首相の念頭には、安保関連法制や憲法改正への民主党などの対応があるのだろう。だが、憲法を逸脱する政策に反対を貫くことが無責任とは言えないし、内容より改憲ありきの首相の姿勢を警戒するのは当然だ。

In fact, it is the prime minister himself who needs to live up to his responsibility of responding “concretely and constructively” to questions and proposals put forth by the opposition camp.
 むしろ首相の方こそ、野党の疑問や提案に対して、「具体的に、建設的に」答える責任を果たしてもらいたい。

With the Upper House election coming up this summer, the current Diet session is expected to be a “short-term battle.” But there are numerous issues that need to be discussed, and the money scandal must be probed to everyone’s satisfaction.
 夏に参院選を控えたこの国会は短期戦とも言われる。一方、論ずべき課題は山積みであり、疑惑の解明も必須だ。

The session must not be allowed to become an ugly sparring contest, fought only with the upcoming election in mind.
選挙を意識した批判合戦に終わらせてはならない。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-01-28 11:29 | 英字新聞

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