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2008年11月26日 (水)

国会延長問題 首相は態勢を立て直す時だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 26, 2008)

Aso must show public where he stands

国会延長問題 首相は態勢を立て直す時だ(1126日付・読売社説)

Although the current extraordinary Diet session is to be extended, a second supplementary budget for fiscal 2008 will not be submitted during the session. This situation is difficult to fathom.

 臨時国会の会期は延長しても、補正予算案は提出しない。わかりにくい対応である。

Prime Minister Taro Aso on Tuesday expressed his intention to submit the extra budget to an ordinary Diet session to be convened in early January.

 麻生首相は、第2次補正予算案は年初召集の通常国会に提出すると言明した。

The submission to the Diet of the extra budget to implement additional stimulus measures announced by the prime minister at a press conference in late October has, therefore, been put on hold.

 つまり、首相が、10月末の記者会見で示した追加景気対策の裏付けとなる補正予算案の国会提出は、先送りされた。

Many people must be scratching their heads over Aso's actions. The prime minister has shown he is acutely aware of the severity of the current economic situation, describing it as a once-in-a-century storm and deeming it imperative to quickly implement additional measures to boost the economy.

 これには、首をかしげる人が少なくあるまい。首相は、現在の経済状況を「百年に一度の暴風雨」と形容して強い危機感を示し、追加対策は「迅速」な実行が肝心としていたからだ。

But even if the extra budget were submitted during the extended Diet session, the budget would not likely be passed if the Democratic Party of Japan tenaciously resisted it.

 しかし、補正予算案を延長国会に提出したとしても、民主党が頑迷に抵抗すれば成立は難しい。

The largest opposition party indicated it would not prolong deliberations on the budget. However, the government and ruling parties apparently do not trust the opposition because they have been betrayed by it a number of times since the administration of former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

 補正予算審議の引き延ばしはしない、と民主党は言っているが、政府・与党にすれば、福田前政権以降、何度も煮え湯をのまされてきた。とても「信」を置けないということなのだろう。

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Extension the right move

The DPJ is refusing to vote in the House of Councillors on a bill to revise the new Antiterrorism Law to allow Maritime Self-Defense Force personnel to continue the refueling mission in the Indian Ocean and a bill to revise the law for strengthening financial functions to allow public funds to be used to shore up financial institutions.

 民主党は、インド洋での給油活動継続のための新テロ対策特別措置法改正案、金融機関の資本に公的資金を予防的に注入する金融機能強化法改正案について、参院での採決を拒んでいる。


The bills are indispensable for national security and for addressing the financial crisis. We think it is natural for the ruling parties to extend the current Diet session to have those bills passed and enacted through a second vote in the House of Representatives.

 安全保障や金融危機対応に不可欠の法案だ。衆院で再可決・成立させるため、与党が今国会会期を延長するのは当然のことだ。

However, the ruling parties have found themselves in this situation regarding Diet affairs partly due to a string of blunders made by the prime minister himself.

 ただ、ここまで与党の国会運営を窮屈にした一因に、首相自身の失策もあったのではないか。

Regarding the plan to provide fixed-sum cash benefits to help stimulate the economy, the prime minister initially said the benefits would be given to every household. However, he then recognized it would be necessary to impose an income cap on recipients. Without formulating a clear-cut answer on the issue, he threw local governments a curveball by leaving the decision on whether to impose an income cap up to the municipalities.

 一つは、定額給付金の問題だ。首相は当初、「全世帯に給付」としながら、やがて所得制限の必要性も認め、決定し切れないまま、扱いを地方に丸投げした。

This disarray has led to the likelihood the extra budget will not be passed even during the extended current Diet session.

 この迷走劇は、会期延長によって補正成立を期すというシナリオを事実上、崩壊させたようだ。

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Focus on job at hand

More recently, Aso put his foot in his mouth when he said many doctors lack "social common sense." He apologized for this gaffe soon after.

 その後、首相は、「医師は社会的常識がかなり欠落している人が多い」と舌を滑らせ陳謝した。

Aso also has caused confusion with his statements on such issues as tax grants to local governments in connection with the plan to use road-related tax revenues for general purposes, and the planned sale of stocks in companies under Japan Post Holdings Co. His remarks drew criticism and objections even from within the ruling parties.

 道路特定財源の一般財源化に伴う地方への配分や、日本郵政グループの株式売却の問題でも、発言が揺らいだ。これらは与党内からも批判や反発を呼んでいる。

The prime minister said he wants to focus his energy on compiling the fiscal 2009 budget and revising tax systems throughout December. Addressing these tasks gives him a chance to rebuild his standing. He needs to maintain a responsible attitude and ensure his policies are implemented.

 首相は、12月は、2009年度予算編成と税制改正に全力を挙げたい、と語った。首相は、これらの作業にあたり、今こそ、態勢を立て直さなければならない。責任ある態度を保持し、政策の実をあげる必要がある。

It is disturbing to see the prime minister and DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa trade insults outside the Diet. Their much awaited head-to-head debates in the Diet are to be held soon. The leaders of the two main parties should cross swords there.

 首相と民主党の小沢代表が、国会の外でお互い誹謗(ひぼう)しあっている姿は見苦しい。国会の党首討論がようやく開催されるという。両党首は、そこで真正面から大いに論じ合ってもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 26, 2008)

200811260152  読売新聞)

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