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2008年6月 1日 (日)

スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう!

05/30/2008 --The Asahi Shimbun, May 29(IHT/Asahi: May 30,2008)

EDITORIAL: Bad appointment deal

国会同意人事―悪しき合意は早く葬れ

A silly agreement between the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and main opposition Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) has blocked two important government appointments that must be confirmed by the Diet.

The government had to put off presenting candidates for two public offices to the Diet after Minshuto's Takeo Nishioka, chairman of the Upper House Committee on Rules and Administration, was infuriated by media reports naming the nominees before official announcements.

「悪(あ)しきルール」が発動された。国会の同意が法律で義務づけられているふたつの人事について、民主党の西岡武夫・参院議院運営委員長が「事前に報道された」ことを理由に反発し、政府が提示を見送らざるをえない事態となった。

infuriate=激怒させる)

The government planned to seek Diet approval for appointing Keio University professor Kazuhito Ikeo as a member of the Bank of Japan's Policy Board and reappointing Shunichi Nagata as governor of the Deposit Insurance Corp. of Japan.

日本銀行審議委員に池尾和人・慶大教授を充て、預金保険機構理事長に永田俊一氏を再任する案である。

Behind Nishioka's reaction to the media reports is an agreement he struck last autumn with the LDP's Takashi Sasagawa, chairman of the Lower House Committee on Rules and Administration.

西岡氏にすれば、自民党の笹川尭・衆院議運委員長と昨秋交わした次の合意に従った、ということだろう。

Under the agreement, a government nomination that has been reported by the media beforehand will not in principle be accepted for consideration at the Diet.

「政府の人事案件提示前に、人事が報道された場合は、原則として当該者の提示は受け付けない」

As explained by Nishioka at that time, the deal was aimed at addressing the opposition party's concern that media reports on such a nomination, based on information leaked deliberately by the government, would make the public believe that the nomination was a fait accompli.

Minshuto feared this would make the Diet conformation process a mere formality.

Nishioka apparently believes newspapers and other media reported the government's planned nominations using information leaked from the prime minister's office.

But this offers no strong justification for the Diet to refuse considering these nominations.

西岡氏は当時、その趣旨を次のように説明していた。政府側が意図的に案を漏らして報道されれば、世間は既成事実と受け止める。その結果、国会審議が形骸化(けいがいか)してしまう――。

今回も新聞などがいっせいに事前に報じたのは、首相官邸が人事案を漏らしたためと西岡氏はみているようだ。

だが、これはまったくおかしな理屈である。

News media have every reason to work hard to obtain information about important government nominations before they are made public and report on them as early as possible.

国家機関の重要な人事案を報道機関が懸命に取材し、一刻も早く報道しようとするのは当たり前のことだ。

The process of Diet confirmation of government nominations is designed to vet the qualifications of nominees by scrutinizing their capability and knowledge.

News reports on the nominations are irrelevant to the process.

一方、政府が実際に示した案が報道の通りかどうかにかかわらず、その案が妥当かどうか、能力や識見から適格性を点検するのが国会同意の目的だ。

vet=審査する)

Arguments about the nominations should take place on the Diet floor.

国会の場で堂々と論じあえばよい。

Minshuto must remember who rejected two government nominees for the BOJ governor in the current Diet session.

そもそもこの国会で、日銀総裁人事を2度も不同意にしたのはだれだったか。

If the opposition camp finds a government nomination inappropriate, it can block it by using its majority at the Upper House.

いまの「ねじれ国会」では、野党が不適格だと判断すれば、参院で白紙に戻すことができるのだ。

Nishioka's argument that news reports on such nominations would make the public see them as done deals and render the Diet confirmation process meaningless reflects the thinking of a perennial out-party.

世間が既成事実とみる、国会が形骸化する、という主張は万年野党の発想そのものだ。

perennial=永続する、反復する)

It seems Nishioka still doesn't have a clue about the political implications of the opposition control of the Upper House.

西岡氏は、野党が参院で過半数を握ったことの意義をいまだに理解していないのではないか。

clue=糸口)(implication=影響、結果)

If he is so angry about advance media reports on the nominations, why didn't he say anything about all the stories concerning the expected nominees for the BOJ governor that appeared in newspapers and other media almost every day?

事前報道がだめだと言うなら、日銀総裁人事で連日のように出ていた事前の記事はなぜ問題視しなかったのか。

If Minshuto applies different rules to the issue depending on the time and the circumstances, the party should be accused of lacking political integrity.

時と場合によってルールが変わるのなら、ご都合主義にすぎる。

integrity=正直、誠実、高潔)

Ikeo, an economics professor at Keio University, has no service at the Finance Ministry on his resume.

That means Minshuto cannot reject his nomination on the ground that he is a former Finance Ministry official--the reason cited by the party when it turned down some government nominees for the BOJ's top job.

池尾氏は慶大教授で、民主党が反対してきた財務省OBではない。

As for Nagata, Minshuto approved his appointment to the current post four years ago as well as his reappointment two years ago.

永田氏については、4年前の就任時も2年前の再任時も、民主党は同意した。

In terms of their qualifications, there is clearly no good reason for shutting the door before Diet confirmation hearings are held.

人物本位でみれば、門前払いするような人事案だとはとても思えない。

We wonder if Minshuto chief Ichiro Ozawa and other members of the party really think Nishioka has made the right decision.

小沢代表をはじめ民主党の議員たちはみな、本当に西岡氏の判断が正しいと思っているのだろうか。

There is skepticism about the rule concerning media reports on government nominations even within the opposition bloc.

The Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party have said it could effectively undermine the people's right to know.

このルールについては、結果的に国民の知る権利を制限することにもなりかねないなどと共産党や社民党も弊害を指摘していた。

skepticism=疑い、懐疑論)(undermine=崩壊させる)

Yet, no political move to reconsider the rule has emerged during the half year since it was agreed upon. The Diet deserves to be accused of defaulting on its responsibilities.

それなのに見直しの動きがこの半年起きなかったのは、国会の怠慢と言われても仕方がない。

defaulting=怠慢、怠ること、怠ったこと)

Both the ruling and opposition camps share the responsibility to eliminate such an absurd Diet rule without delay.

こんな不見識なルールはただちに削除する。それが与野党共通の責任だ。

absurd=道理に合わない、不合理な)

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 29(IHT/Asahi: May 30,2008)

朝日新聞5月29日号 (英語版 2008年5月30日発行)

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