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2008年5月30日 (金)

スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう!

(May. 30, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Govt must fully respect decentralization plan

地方分権改革 政府は勧告を最大限尊重せよ(5月30日付・読売社説)

A new set of proposals by a government panel offers a new foothold for decentralization reforms. The panel should now take a further step and promote power transfers from the central to local governments, and the state's regional branches should be comprehensively reviewed.

地方分権改革の一つの足場ができた。今後、国から地方への一層の権限移譲に踏み込み、国の出先機関の大胆な見直しにつなげてもらいたい。

foothold=足場、足がかり)(decentralization=分散、分権)(states regional branches=国の地方への出先機関)

The government's Committee for the Promotion of Decentralization issued its first set of recommendations Tuesday. The committee called for transferring powers from the state to local governments and scaling down the central government's involvement in 15 administrative fields.

地方分権改革推進委員会が第1次勧告を決めた。15の行政分野で、国から地方への権限移譲や国の関与の縮小を打ち出した。

scaling down=剥げ落ちる、剥がす、剥奪する)

We hope the central government will fully respect the panel's recommendations and work to put them into practice.

政府は、勧告を最大限尊重し、着実に実行すべきだ。

Some parts of the recommendations have already been approved by government offices concerned.

勧告の一部は、関係府省も了解している。

However, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry is strongly opposed to transferring the state's responsibility for approving farmland conversion to that of local governments, as well as other proposals.

しかし、農地転用の許可権の移譲などは、農水省が強く反対している。

It remains to be seen what decisions Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will make.

福田首相が、いかに裁定するか。

Though the committee presented certain directions to be taken with regard to powers over roads and rivers--two areas that have received a great deal of attention--it stopped short of reaching a conclusion.

焦点の道路と河川の分野で勧告は、一定の方向性は示したが、最終結論は先送りした。

The Construction and Transport Ministry had presented a plan to transfer the government's responsibilities to local governments for 15 percent of national roads that are under the supervision of the state and 40 percent of state-designated rivers that start and end in the same prefecture.

国土交通省は、国直轄国道の15%と、一つの都道府県内で完結する1級河川の40%の管理権を地方に移譲する案を示した。

The panel, however, recommends the state transfer its powers over even more roads and rivers to local authorities.

分権委は一層の上積みを求めている。

===

Balanced power roles

(適正なる権限の配分)

How many more roads and rivers will become subject to the power transfer?

移譲対象を今後、どれだけ増やせるか。

This will determine how far the panel will be able to ask the government to transfer the ministry's eight regional development bureaus' work and projects, officials and the money budgeted to their work, to prefectural governments in the second set of recommendations expected to be released at the end of the year.

この点が、年末の第2次勧告で、国交省の8地方整備局の事務事業や職員、財源をどの程度都道府県に移せるか、に直結する。

Decentralization reforms are headed for a crucial stage.

まさに改革の正念場だ。                                                                                                                                       

The transport ministry is expected to step up its resistance to these reforms.

国交省の抵抗は強まるだろう。

However, it is desirable that the government coordinates opinions, maintaining the principle of having local governments oversee transportation and rivers in their own jurisdiction while the state complements this work.

だが、「地域の交通や川は自治体に任せ、それを国が補完する」という原則を極力、貫く方向で調整を進めることが望ましい。

(oversea=監督する)(complements=補完する)

Standards to set up day care centers and special elderly nursing homes, which have been comprehensively specified by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, also are expected to be subject to a major change.

厚生労働省が定める保育所や特別養護老人ホームの設置基準も変わる。

(comprehensively=包括的に)

According to the panel proposal, the ministry will present basic standards as criteria, while specific standards will be determined by prefectural governments.

厚労省は「標準的な基準」を目安として示し、具体的な基準は都道府県が決める。

We believe the envisioned system will enable local governments to handle problems in accordance with the situations found in individual areas.

地域の実情に応じた対応が可能になろう。

In large cities, where day care centers are in particularly short supply, it may become possible to open such facilities near stations with smaller floor space than currently-approved spaces.

保育所不足が深刻な都市部では駅前近くに、従来より狭い保育所を作ることを認める。

In scarcely populated areas, buildings of closed schools could be turned into welfare facilities.

過疎部では、廃校になった学校の校舎などを福祉施設に転用する。

Innovative ideas from prefectural governments are needed to make efficient use of powers that are to be provided to them.

与えられた権限をいかに有効活用するか。都道府県の創意工夫が求められる。

innovative=革新的な)

===

A clean transition

(さっと引き渡す)

The panel also called for transferring 359 secretarial powers under 64 laws from prefectural governments to municipalities, including the right to approve urban planning projects.

勧告は、都市計画の許認可権など、64の法律に関して、都道府県から市町村へ359の事務権限を移譲することも盛り込んだ。

Some prefectural governments have already transferred such powers to municipalities through special ordinances.

As the proposal is meant to spread such precedents in certain prefectures to other parts of the country, it moved a step ahead in promoting decentralization.

一部の都道府県が特例条例で市町村に移譲している先例を全国に広げるなど、踏み込んだ内容だ。

More powers will be transferred from prefectural governments to municipalities according to size--starting with government-designated cities with populations of 500,000 or more, to those with 300,000 or more residents, those with 200,000 or more residents and then other cities, towns and villages.

政令市、中核市(人口30万人以上)、特例市(20万人以上)、一般市、町村と、規模が大きいほど、移譲される権限も多くなる。

It is best that administrative works linked to local residents are taken care of by the local governments close to them.

住民に身近な行政は、より住民に近い自治体が担うのが理想だ。

Following the so-called Heisei era megamergers, the size of municipal governments has grown and administrative systems have improved accordingly.

市町村は、「平成の大合併」で規模が拡大し、行政体制も整備されてきた。

Heisei era megamergers=平成の大合併)

Therefore, we believe it is natural for them to play bigger roles with the promotion of decentralization.

地方分権で、さらに大きな役割を担うのは当然だ。

At the same time, however, local governments must keep in mind that with their increased powers will also come increased responsibilities.

同時に、権限に応じた責任を負うことも忘れてはなるまい。

with their increased powers will also come increased responsibilities =Increased responsibilities will also come with their increased powers.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 30, 2008)

20085300153  読売新聞)

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