麻生新総裁

(Sep. 23, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Aso must speak out, seize political spotlight
麻生自民党総裁 「何をなすか」明確に発信せよ(9月23日付・読売社説)

Now is a critical time for the Liberal Democratic Party. Taro Aso, the newly elected party president, needs to get serious and face up to important issues in a speedy and bold manner.
 自民党にとって危急存亡の秋(とき)である。麻生太郎新総裁は、そんな危機感をもって、迅速果敢に、重要課題に立ち向かう必要があろう。

Aso scored an overwhelming victory in Monday's party leadership election to become the 23rd LDP president, defeating four other candidates--Kaoru Yosano, state minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy; Yuriko Koike, former defense minister; Nobuteru Ishihara, former chairman of the LDP Policy Research Council; and Shigeru Ishiba, former defense minister.
 自民党総裁選は22日、投開票の結果、麻生幹事長が、与謝野馨経済財政相、小池百合子・元防衛相、石原伸晃・元政調会長、石破茂・前防衛相の4氏に、大差をつけて勝利し、第23代総裁に就任した。

Aso is set to be named prime minister at an extraordinary Diet session that convenes Wednesday.
 麻生氏は、24日に召集される臨時国会で首相に指名される。

 ◆責任感と耐久力を示せ◆
Aso's grandfather is Shigeru Yoshida, who served as prime minister for a number of years just after World War II.
 麻生氏は、戦後、長期にわたり政権を担当した吉田茂・元首相の孫にあたる。

The prime minister's post has most recently been held by scions of political dynasties, Yasuo Fukuda and Shinzo Abe, both of whom abruptly resigned. Aso needs to demonstrate his strong sense of responsibility and staying power.
 世襲議員の首相が2代続けて政権から中途退場した後を継ぐ総裁である。今度こそ、最高リーダーとして、強い責任感と耐久力を発揮してもらいたい。

Why did Aso defeat the other four candidates by such a big margin?
 それにしても、麻生氏がこれほど圧勝したのはなぜか。

This was the fourth time for Aso to run for party president. Having his own small faction as a stronghold, Aso gained support from members of all of the party's factions as he went through three campaigns for the party's top post since 2006.
 麻生氏の総裁選への挑戦は今回で4回目だ。小派閥である麻生派を拠点に、2006年から3年連続して総裁選を戦ううちに全派閥に横断的な支持を広げた。

His upbeat and unique character attracted popular support. In recent opinion polls, Aso was ranked as the person most suitable for the prime minister's post.
 明るい独特のキャラクターが大衆受けし、「首相に最もふさわしい人」を聞く世論調査でも、最近はトップに立っていた。

Party members are pinning their hopes on Aso as the face of the party with the dissolution of the House of Representatives and a general election expected soon.
 とくに党内から期待されたのは、近づく衆院解散・総選挙での「党の顔」としてだろう。

Unlike Fukuda, who lacked the ability to convey strong messages, Aso was evaluated highly for his communication skills.
「発信力」不足の福田康夫・前総裁に比べて、高いコミュニケーション能力が買われたともいえよう。

Many LDP Diet members and local chapter representatives decided to support Aso in hopes of being on the winning side. As the cases of Abe and Fukuda showed, however, an overwhelming victory in a party race does not necessarily mean the winner can expect stable support from party members.
 国会議員も地方代表も、「勝ち馬」に乗ろうと雪崩を打って麻生支持に回った。だが、安倍、福田政権のように、圧勝は必ずしも、党内基盤の安定を意味しない。

===

Face of party

In appointing four main party executives, Aso retained incumbents in three of the four posts. For the post of party secretary general that he previously occupied, Aso picked Hiroyuki Hosoda, acting secretary general of the party. By retaining the previous executive lineup, Aso appears to be trying to ensure a smooth transition.
 麻生総裁は、党役員人事で党四役のうち3人を留任させ、幹事長に細田博之幹事長代理を充てた。前体制を継承することで、スムーズな移行を図ったといえる。

Having elected Aso as party president, LDP lawmakers have a responsibility to support the new leader by building party unity.
 麻生氏を選んだ以上、自民党国会議員は、挙党態勢の下、新総裁を支える責任があるだろう。

The relationship with the LDP's junior coalition partner New Komeito is also important. The ruling parties' relationship soured in the final days of the Fukuda administration over such issues as a bill to revise the new Antiterrorism Law to allow the Maritime Self-Defense Force to continue its refueling mission in the Indian Ocean and envisaged fixed-sum tax breaks.
 公明党との関係も大切だ。福田政権の末期は、インド洋での海上自衛隊による給油活動を継続するための新テロ対策特別措置法改正案や定額減税などをめぐり、自公関係がギクシャクした。

It is necessary to strengthen the relationship with New Komeito to foster cooperation in the next lower house election. Reconfirming the two parties' ties is an urgent task for Aso.
 公明党との関係強化は、衆院選での選挙協力のうえでも不可欠だろう。麻生総裁にとって、両党連携の再確認が急務である。

 ◆「麻生VS小沢」◆
Aso faces mounting problems. In the midst of the LDP presidential election, U.S. financial giant Lehman Brothers Inc. failed and stock prices violently fluctuated worldwide. Uncertainty over the economy has been growing due to commodity price hikes pushed by surging prices for raw materials.
 自民党総裁選のさなか、米証券大手のリーマン・ブラザーズが経営破綻(はたん)し、日本の株価も乱高下した。原材料高による物価上昇もあって、景気の先行き不安が強まっている。

There were news reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was facing health problems. Ahead of the news, North Korea halted its denuclearization process, which had been based on agreements reached in the six-party talks. It also postponed a reinvestigation into the abduction of Japanese nationals to North Korea by its agents.
 北朝鮮の金正日総書記の健康不安説も流れた。それに先立ち、北朝鮮は6か国協議の合意に基づく核施設の無能力化作業を中断し、日本人拉致被害者の再調査についても先送りした。

The problem of illegal trade in agricultural chemical- and mold-tainted rice has expanded and developed to the point that the agriculture minister and the administrative vice farm minister resigned.
 農薬などに汚染された事故米の不正取引問題は拡大し、農相、事務次官の辞任へと発展した。

All of these are serious problems.
 深刻な問題ばかりである。

===

Political priorities

Aso, after he is named prime minister on Wednesday, has to pick people who are trustworthy and immediately respond to such difficult issues in forming his cabinet.
 麻生氏は、内閣人事では、これらの難問に即応できる、有能で信頼に足る人材を起用していかねばならない。

Yet, to fulfill his responsibility as LDP president, Aso's most basic task is to lead the LDP to victory over Ichiro Ozawa's Democratic Party of Japan in the next lower house election.
 麻生総裁が、職責を果たしていくには、まず、次期衆院選で小沢代表が率いる民主党に勝利することが前提になる。

Aso had been labeling the LDP presidential race as an election to choose a "warrior" to face off against Ozawa. Immediately after he was elected the new LDP head, he emphasized, "I'll be able to say I fulfilled my destiny when we win in the next [lower house] election."
 麻生氏は、総裁選を小沢代表と「戦う人」を選ぶ選挙と位置づけてきた。自民党大会で総裁に選出された直後には、「次の選挙に勝って初めて『天命』を果たしたことになる」と強調した。

 ◆政策の真贋が問われる◆
The lower house election, termed the Aso vs Ozawa election, will be a battle to determine the next ruling party. It will be fought on the basis of which party's policies are real and which are false.
 政権の座をかけた「麻生VS小沢」の衆院選は、両党の政策の真贋(しんがん)を問う戦いになる。

In the LDP presidential race the five candidates debated various issues, which in some ways served as preparation for policy debate with the DPJ in the election.
 総裁選では、5氏が論争を展開し、民主党との政策論戦への備えを固めるものにはなったろう。

However, there are quite a few issues that were not satisfactorily discussed.
 しかし、なお消化不良に終わった論点は少なくない。

For instance, how should the government fund its plan to take on a greater portion of the burden of paying basic pension benefits from fiscal 2009?
 09年度から基礎年金の国庫負担割合を2分の1にするための財源をどう手当てするのか。

Raising the consumption tax rate may not be possible for the next fiscal year, but is it acceptable for the ruling party not to discuss the issue at all for now?
 消費税率の引き上げは、当面は無理にしても、まったく議論すらしなくていいのか。

Doesn't the LDP have to show at least a blueprint for drastic reform of the pension, health care and nursing care systems to cope with the declining birth rate, graying society and declining population?
 少子高齢化、人口減社会における年金、医療、介護制度の抜本改革について、青写真を示すべきではないか。

What should be done to pass a bill to revise the new Antiterrorism Law to fulfill Japan's responsibility to the international community?
 国際社会での責務を果たすための新テロ特措法改正案の成立を図るため、どんな手立てを講じなければならないのか。

As LDP president, Aso must provide a concrete and comprehensible answer for each of these questions.
 麻生総裁は、これら一つ一つに、具体的でわかりやすい答えを示すことが求められる。

Aso's unique characteristics will not shine if he repeats mealy-mouthed remarks out of an excessive fear of being nailed down on undesirable pledges.
 言質をとられるのを恐れるあまり、奥歯にものが挟まった発言を繰り返したりすれば、麻生氏の持ち味は失われかねない。

As a national leader he needs to elucidate his policy goals and explain how he will achieve them.
 国家指導者として、これから「何をなすか」を明確に発信し、それを具体化するプロセスを説明していく必要があるだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 23, 2008)
(2008年9月23日01時54分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-23 10:54 | 英字新聞

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