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2008年6月 3日 (火)

スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう!

06/03/2008 --The Asahi Shimbun, June 2(IHT/Asahi: June 3,2008)

Transfer of power

地方分権勧告―首相も首長も覚悟を示せ

"Babies and small children cannot fully express themselves, so the central government needs to have regulations." This was the response of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare when it was asked why municipal governments were bound by uniform national regulations when opening a new child care center.

「乳幼児は、自分で意思表示できないから、国の規制が必要だ」

市町村が保育所を新設するときに、なぜ全国一律の基準に縛られないといけないのか。そんな疑問への厚生労働省の答えがこれだった。

If this kind of preposterous reasoning is the only way bureaucracies can claim their raison d'etre, then their binding powers should be removed and relegated to local bodies along with the appropriate fiscal resources. That would then elevate local entities to true "regional governments."

こんなとんでもない理屈でしか存在理由を示せないお役所の縛りをなくし、権限や財源を移して自治体を「地方政府」に高めていく。

preposterous=不合理な、非常識な、実に馬鹿げた)

(raison d'etre=存在理由 フランス語)

relegate=追いやる、追放する、左遷する)

The government's Decentralization Reform Committee, authorized by the decentralization promotion law, recently put together its recommendations and submitted them to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

地方分権改革推進法に基づき、地方分権改革推進委員会が、こうした内容の初めての勧告をまとめ、福田首相に提出した。

The main argument is to transfer central government tasks to prefectural authorities and, in turn, prefectural tasks to cities wherever possible.

柱は、中央政府の仕事は都道府県に、都道府県の仕事は市に、できるだけ移していくこと。

We believe that steps must also be taken to make it easier to transfer ownership of public facilities built with state government funds or alter the reason for their existence.

そして、政府の補助金を使った公共施設の転用や譲渡を容易にすることだ。

By next spring, the committee will issue additional recommendations about closing or scaling down the regional offices of central ministries.

It will also recommend the transfer of tax revenue sources.

来春までに国の出先機関の整理・縮小や税財源の移譲についても順次勧告する。

The Cabinet will eventually approve the decentralization plan, but the policies for now will be included in this year's basic economic and fiscal policy guidelines to be announced later this month.

政府は分権推進計画を閣議決定するが、当面の対処方針は6月の「骨太の方針」に盛り込む予定だ。

The recommendations include many references to issues closely associated with the everyday lives of citizens.

勧告には、住民生活と密接な問題が数多く盛り込まれた。

For example, the report urged that local bodies, through their ordinances, should be able to independently determine local standards for child-care centers and welfare facilities for the elderly. As a result, it will be possible to create facilities that may be a tad crowded but which can take in more children, thereby reducing the waiting list.

例えば、保育所や老人福祉施設の基準は、自治体が条例で独自に決められるようにすべきだと求めた。多少狭くても、預かる子供を増やして待機児童を減らす、といった選択ができる。

tad=ちょっと、ちょっぴり、少しだけ)

If it becomes easier to convert subsidized facilities to something other than what was originally intended, then it will be possible to turn some libraries that are no longer needed after municipal mergers into welfare and other facilities.

補助金でつくった施設を当初の目的以外へ転用しやすくすれば、市町村合併で不要になった図書館を福祉施設にするような工夫ができる。

subsidized=政府の助成金で作られている)

The latest recommendations are one step forward in the direction of decentralization in the sense that it stated clearly its goal to strengthen the power of local bodies that are in close contact with their communities.

今回の勧告は、住民に近い自治体の権限を強める方向をはっきり示した点で、分権を一歩前進させるものだ。

However, during the coordination process, the various ministries have fiercely resisted attempts to strip them of their power.

しかし、これまでの調整の過程で、権限を守ろうとする各省の抵抗はきわめて強く、自治体へ移すべきだと主張する分権委と対立し、結論が先送りされている課題も多い。

(coordination=作業機能の調整、一致)(fiercely=激しく、獰猛に)

With regards to the management of state roads and rivers, negotiations with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism produced a number of compromises from the ministry. But with regard to cropland diversion, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has adamantly refused to comply.

国道や河川の管理については、事前の折衝で国土交通省から一定の譲歩を得たが、農地転用の許可について農水省は拒否したまま。

In light of this situation, the decentralization committee recommended that a deadline be set to resolve many of these undetermined issues.

The problem is that it had to accept the fact that the bulk of the debate would be done within the government.

こうした未決着の点の多くで、分権委は期限を区切って結論を出すよう勧告したが、政府内での議論に委ねざるを得なかった

The problem is that it had to accept the fact that the bulk of the debate would be done within the government. 日英翻訳のお手本となるべきすぐれた翻訳ですね。 srachai)

Moreover, many towns and villages are disgruntled because the panel said most of the transfer of prefectural powers would be limited only to cities. Its rationale was that transferring power to small local bodies was unrealistic.

また、小さな自治体へ移譲は現実的ではないとの理由から、都道府県の権限の移譲先の多くを市に限ったことで、町村に不満が残った。

disgruntled=不機嫌な、むっとした)(rationale=理由づけ、正当化)

Whether or not the recommendations can be carried out is up to the central government.

これを実行に移せるかどうかは、政治の責任だ。

Fukuda's resolve is immediately going to be put to the test with regard to how many items to include in the policy guidelines in the face of ministerial resistance or pressure from special-interest legislators.

各省の官僚や族議員が抵抗している項目を、骨太の方針にどこまで盛り込めるか。福田首相のやる気がすぐに試されることになる。

The governors and mayors also need to show their resolve.

知事や市町村長の覚悟も必要だ。

Among local governments, some are quite forthright in assessing that greater powers translate into greater burdens.

各自治体の中には、「権限をもらっても面倒なだけ」との本音もちらつく。

forthright=言いたいことをはっきりという、ずばり言う、歯に衣を着せない)

Decentralization is not a turf war between the central and local governments.

分権は、政府と自治体間の単なる権限争いではない。

turf war=権限争い)

It is about rejuvenating Japan. It is a grand reform project to create a new framework of governing so that the people of this country can lead better lives. The people should also take part in supporting this reform process.

よりよい暮らしを実現するための統治の仕組みの大改革であり、日本の再生がかかっている。住民の側からも改革を後押ししたい。

rejuvenate=若返らせる)

--The Asahi Shimbun, June 2(IHT/Asahi: June 3,2008)

朝日新聞 6月02日号 (英語版 2008年6月03日発行)

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