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2008年12月19日 (金)

雇用対策法案―この国会で成立させよ

2008/12/18

--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 17(IHT/Asahi: December 18,2008)

EDITORIAL: Rising unemployment

雇用対策法案―この国会で成立させよ

More workers are losing their jobs, being forced out of their homes and wondering how they will earn a living from tomorrow. Do the politicians of this country truly understand the pressing sense of crisis and emergency under which people are now living?

 仕事を失い、住まいを追われ、明日からどうやって暮らせばいいのか。 

 そう途方に暮れる人が抱いている危機感や切迫感を、この国の政治家たちはどれだけ分かっているだろうか。 

The three major opposition parties, including Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), submitted an emergency job measures bill to the Upper House on Monday. The legislation seeks to cope with the job losses now sweeping the country amid the global financial crisis.

 世界金融危機に端を発し、みるみるうちに国内へも広がった雇用削減の嵐に対し、民主党など野党3党が緊急の雇用対策法案を参議院へ出した。 

The proposal would: require companies to explain in writing the reasons for withdrawing tentative promises of employment; expand the coverage of the employment adjustment subsidy program for employers to curb dismissals of nonregular employees; allow people who lose their jobs and living quarters access to public housing and livelihood assistance payments; and other steps.

 採用の内定を取り消す場合には書面で理由を示すことを義務づける。非正社員として働く人の解雇を抑えるために、雇用調整助成金の対象を広げる。職とともに住まいを失った人へは、公的な住宅を提供したり生活支援金を給付したり、といった内容である。 

Most of these ideas overlap the employment measures previously announced by Prime Minister Taro Aso. The ruling parties certainly must be aware that the job situation is grave and that there is no time to waste.

 これらは、麻生首相がすでに打ち出した雇用対策と重なる部分も多い。雇用危機は深刻で、早く手を打たねばと与党も考えているはずだ。 

But the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is reluctant to deliberate the opposition bill. If the current situation continues, any lawmaking will be pushed back to the ordinary Diet session early next year. This course of action is difficult to fathom.

 それなのに自民党は、野党の法案の成立には消極的だ。このままでは年明けの通常国会へ先送りされかねない。なんとも理解に苦しむことだ。 

The ruling parties most likely feel that they were the ones to move first in determining job measures.

 与党にしてみれば、雇用対策を先に決めたのは自分たちだという思いがあるのだろう。

Thus, their current attitude is clearly a backlash against Minshuto's tactic of submitting a bill toward the end of the current Diet session in an attempt to underscore the policy vacuum of the Aso administration.

会期末になって法案を出し、麻生政権の無策ぶりを浮き立たせることを狙ったような民主党の作戦に対して反発もあるに違いない。 

Yet the coalition parties were the ones that initially invited the delay in taking action on employment. Despite hammering out details of a second supplementary budget, which includes job stimulation, they deferred on submitting that plan to the Diet until next year because they feared they would be forced to dissolve the Lower House for a snap election in the course of discussing that budget.

 だが、もとはといえば、雇用対策の遅れは政府与党が招いたものである。雇用対策を含んだ第2次補正予算案の内容を決めておきながら、解散へ追い込まれることを恐れて、国会提出を来年へ先送りしたからだ。 

The economy has worsened at a pace unthinkable just a month ago. The wave of downsizing is advancing with fierce momentum. Scenes of tens of thousands of unemployed people overflowing the streets are rapidly becoming a reality.

 景気の悪化は、1カ月前には想像もできなかったような急スピードで進行中だ。人員削減の波がいま、激しい勢いで押し寄せている。何万人もの失業者が街にあふれる事態が、まさに目の前に迫っている。 

Under such dire circumstances, obsessing over the empty honor of being the first to come up with a labor plan is unpardonable.

 どちらが先に考え出したか、などというメンツにこだわることは許されない。

Both the ruling and opposition parties accuse each other of having no viable policies or being uncooperative, resulting in a delay in the passage of the crucial package of job measures. That is tantamount to abandoning all political accountability.

与野党が「無策だ」「非協力だ」と責め合って、肝心の雇用対策が遅れるようなことがあれば、それは政治全体の責任放棄である。 

One municipality, exasperated by the policy foot-dragging by the government and the Diet, is taking matters into its own hand. All political parties should regard the municipality's move as a searing criticism of the parties' administrative impotence.

 政府や国会の対応の遅さにしびれを切らして、独自に手を打つ自治体も出てきた。これは痛烈な批判であると、各党とも受けとめるべきだ。 

With winter setting in, and increasing numbers of people in limbo about how they will muddle through the New Year's season, it is ridiculous to delay action until the ordinary Diet session convenes next month.

 寒空のもと、年を越せるのかと不安を募らせる人がいる時に、年明けの国会まで対策を待つゆとりはない。

The most effective policy steps in the measures drawn up by the ruling parties or the bill submitted by the opposition camp should be introduced immediately.

与党の対策であれ、野党の法案であれ、可能なものから、できるだけ早く進めていかなければならない。 

To break the current deadlock, the LDP must first agree to debate the opposition's draft bill.

 そのためにも自民党は、野党法案の審議にきちんと応じることだ。 

Considering the current situation, the parties can't afford to prolong their confrontation. Instead of bickering, they must quickly pool their ideas and push forward real countermeasures. If there are sections of the bill that require amending, the parties need to get to work and pass the legislation by the end of the current Diet session.

 いまは各党が対決するのではなく、知恵を出し合って危機に取り組み、対策を急いでもらいたい。法案に修正すべき点があるならば手直しして、会期末までに成立させるべきだ。

Politicians must not abandon the public at the height of such painful economic times.
政治は苦しむ国民を放置してはいけない。

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