麻生内閣発足

(Sep. 25, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Aso must outline plan for 'radiant, strong' state
麻生内閣発足 「明るく強い国」をどう造る(9月25日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Taro Aso's new Cabinet was inaugurated Wednesday night. But it sets out under unusual circumstances, with the dissolution of the House of Representatives and a subsequent general election just around the corner.
麻生新内閣が発足した。衆院解散・総選挙を間近に控えた異例の船出である。今後も活力ある日本を維持していくには、どうすべきか。麻生首相は、内政、外交の見取り図を、早急に示さねばならない。

The question now is what Aso--the 59th man to serve as prime minister--should do to maintain the nation's vigor.
第92代、59人目の首相に選ばれた麻生首相は24日夜、組閣を終え、新内閣を始動させた。

To ensure he can do so, he must present a blueprint mapping out the nation's politics and diplomacy as quickly as possible.
(麻生首相はこれから先の国内政策と外交政策につき明確な青写真を国民に示さなければならない by srachai)

Announcing the lineup of his Cabinet himself at a press conference, Aso stressed that he is determined to make Japan a "radiant and strong country." He apparently believed it was important to deliver such a message directly to the public rather than leaving it to the chief cabinet secretary.
麻生首相は、自ら記者会見して閣僚名簿を発表し、「日本を明るく強い国にする」と強調した。官房長官任せにせず、国民に対して直接、メッセージを発することを重視したものだ。

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◆政策推進の3原則◆
3 principles for governance

On appointing his Cabinet ministers, Aso instructed them "to promote policies for the benefit of the people," "to make the best use of bureaucrats" and "to devote efforts to the national interest rather than that of government ministries." These are apparently being dubbed "Aso's three principles" and he said he will make them the cornerstone of his policies.
首相は、閣僚の任命にあたり、「国民本位の政策を進める」「官僚は使いこなす」「省益ではなく国益に専念する」ように指示した。これを“麻生3原則”とし、政策推進の基本に据える考えを示したのだろう。

Aso named former Education, Science and Technology Minister Takeo Kawamura as chief cabinet secretary, a pivotal role in the Cabinet. As with the appointment of Hiroyuki Hosoda as Liberal Democratic Party secretary general, picking Kawamura indicates that Aso took into account his practical skills, which are highly thought of within the party.
内閣の要となる官房長官に、河村建夫・元文部科学相を起用した。自民党の細田博之幹事長と同様、党内で評価の高い実務能力を買ったものといえる。

Aso retained Kaoru Yosano, who was a contender in Monday's LDP presidential election, as state minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy and named former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba as agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister. These appointments suggest Aso also hopes to build a united party by ensuring ministers are matched with positions suited to their policymaking abilities.
総裁選を戦った与謝野経済財政相は再任、石破茂・元防衛相は農相に登用した。両氏の得意分野の政策能力を活用し、挙党態勢にも配慮した人事だ。

In addition, Aso gave Cabinet posts to many of those who contributed to his victory in the party presidential race. Shoichi Nakagawa, finance minister and state minister in charge of financial services; Kunio Hatoyama, internal affairs and communications minister; and Akira Amari, state minister in charge of administrative reform, all supported Aso and contributed to his winning the presidential election.
自民党総裁選で麻生氏の勝利に貢献した議員を多数起用した。中川財務・金融相、鳩山総務相、甘利行政改革相は、麻生支持を打ち出し、早くから流れを作った。

Meanwhile, the prime minister named Yuko Obuchi, 34, who is in her third term in the lower house, as state minister in charge of the declining birthrate. She becomes the youngest ever postwar cabinet member.
戦後最年少閣僚として、34歳で当選3回の小渕優子衆院議員を少子化相に抜擢(ばってき)した。

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Management in crisis
◆危機管理を怠るな◆

Since former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's abrupt resignation announcement on Sept. 1, there have been serious problems to contend with at home and abroad. The new Cabinet must check the government's crisis management system and try to perfect the management of affairs of state.
今月1日の福田前首相の辞意表明後、国内外で、深刻な問題が発生している。内閣として、危機管理体制を総点検し、国政遂行に万全を期すことが求められる。

The financial crisis that originated in the United States is developing into a cross-border realignment of the financial industry that involves Japanese financial institutions. Meanwhile, the Japanese economy itself is slowing.
米国発の金融危機は、日本の金融機関も巻き込んで、国境を越えた金融再編に発展している。一方で、日本の景気は下降線をたどっている。

Given these difficult circumstances, agile management that unifies fiscal and financial considerations is going to be indispensable in guiding the country's economic policies.
こうした難局にある経済政策の舵(かじ)取りでは、財政と金融の一体的、機動的な運営が欠かせない。

Aso also has asked Finance Minister Nakagawa to serve as state minister in charge of financial services. He says, quite reasonably, that the dual appointment ensures Japan has a state minister responsible for financial services in attendance at meetings of the Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank governors.
首相は、中川財務相に金融相を兼務させた。先進7か国財務相・中央銀行総裁会議(G7)で、日本の財務相が金融行政に関与していない事態を避けるのが狙い、と説明した。当然の判断だろう。

Meanwhile, police on Wednesday searched the headquarters of Osaka-based rice processing and sales firm Mikasa Foods on suspicion of selling tainted rice meant for industrial use as edible rice. The latest incident revealed government administrative processes are not functioning properly.
農薬などに汚染された事故米の不正転売問題で、警察当局は、米穀加工販売会社の強制捜査に踏み切った。行政の機能不全を露呈する不祥事だ。

Incoming agriculture minister Ishiba should exercise leadership in cooperation with Seiko Noda, who retained her post as state minister in charge of consumer affairs, to ensure the safety of the nation's food and to regain the public's trust in the ministry.
石破農相は、再任された野田消費者相と協力し、「食の安全」の確保と農水省の信頼回復に指導力を発揮すべきだ。

Recent reports of the deteriorating health of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il have caused confusion over the future direction of this autocratic state's decision-making.
北朝鮮の金正日総書記の健康不安説で、独裁国家の意思決定の行方に不透明感が漂っている。

Against this backdrop, North Korea recently began work restoring its Yongbyon nuclear facility that it had previously agreed to disable.
そうした中で、北朝鮮は、無能力化に合意していた寧辺の核施設の復旧作業に着手した。

Meanwhile, there is currently no prospect of Pyongyang resuming its reinvestigation into Japanese abducted by North Korean agents.
日本人拉致問題も、被害者の再調査入りのめどが立っていない。

Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada need to reaffirm coordination with the United States and other countries concerned and give full attention to North Korea's actions.
中曽根外相、浜田防衛相は、米国など関係国との連携を再確認し、北朝鮮の動向に細心の注意を払う必要がある。

Meanwhile, an agreement reached between the LDP and its coalition partner New Komeito on Tuesday incorporates economic stimulus measures, including fixed-amount income and residential tax cuts that were demanded by New Komeito. The two parties also agreed to review an unpopular health care insurance program for people aged 75 or older.
麻生政権発足に先立つ自公両党の政権合意には、公明党が求めた所得・住民税の定額減税など当面の景気対策や、国民に批判の強い後期高齢者医療制度を見直す方針が盛り込まれた。

However, the agreement does not call for the financial burden the nation faces to be shouldered by the public, including through a consumption tax rate hike. And as for securing financial resources to fund ballooning social security costs, it simply refers to administrative reforms, including abolishing and consolidating local offices of the central government and ensuring budgetary allocations are not squandered.
一方で、消費税率の引き上げなど国民に負担を求める施策は見あたらない。財源確保策は、国の出先機関の廃止・縮小や、予算のムダの洗い出しなどの行政改革を掲げているだけだ。

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Tackling economic challenges
◆責任ある説明を◆

Having said, "The Japanese economy needs three years to recover," Aso has accepted the government's fiscal stimulus measures to turn around the flagging economy. He also has suggested he will push back the target of achieving a surplus in the primary balance, originally eyed for fiscal 2011, saying, "Conditions have changed."
首相は「日本経済は全治3年」として経済対策のための財政出動を容認し、2011年度に基礎的財政収支を黒字化する目標については「前提条件が変わった」と先送りする考えを示唆した。

A review of the health care insurance program for people aged 75 or older was unexpectedly floated during the closing stages of the LDP presidential election. But this raises the question of how the LDP and New Komeito will remain consistent with their previous insistence that the scheme is necessary. Aso and Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe should explain this properly to ensure there is no confusion among the public.
後期高齢者医療制度の見直しは、自民党総裁選の終盤に唐突に浮上した。必要性を訴えてきた政府・与党の従来の説明と、どう整合性をとるのか。首相と舛添厚生労働相は、国民を混乱させないよう、しっかりと説明すべきだ。

At his first press conference on assuming the premiership Wednesday night, Aso clarified that the government would raise its share of the burden for the basic pension to half from the current one-third from fiscal 2009. However, he did not present details on the financial resources available for doing so.
首相は、就任後初の記者会見で、来年度から基礎年金の国庫負担割合を2分の1に引き上げると明言しながら、財源については、明示しなかった。

The new Cabinet should urgently discuss concrete measures for securing such resources.
早急に具体的な財源措置を検討すべきである。

If Aso's administration is to achieve the goals it has laid out, the LDP clearly must prevail in its upcoming electoral battle with the Democratic Party of Japan, headed by Ichiro Ozawa.
近づく衆院選は、麻生首相が率いる自民党と、小沢代表の民主党との決戦となる。
麻生政権が実績を上げていくには、まず、小沢民主党に勝利しなければならない。

Aso is responsible for presenting clearly defined principles for the country's rejuvenation and outlining concrete policies for the public in his policy speech scheduled to be delivered at the Diet on Monday.
首相は、29日の所信表明演説で、日本再生のためのより明確な理念と、具体的な政策を国民に示す責任がある。

We hope Aso will engage in lively and constructive debates with Ozawa and other opposition parties leaders during their interpellation.
代表質問でも、小沢代表をはじめ野党党首と、活発な論戦を展開してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 25, 2008)
(2008年9月25日02時24分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-25 09:53 | 英字新聞

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