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2009年1月10日 (土)

代表質問 対決だけでなく協調も必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 7, 2009)

At Diet, heads together, not loggerheads, please

代表質問 対決だけでなく協調も必要だ(17日付・読売社説)

Japan's politics will be thrown into disarray again if the ruling and opposition parties continue to face off under the "divided Diet," in which the ruling parties hold a majority in the House of Representatives and the opposition bloc controls the House of Councillors. In the face of the unprecedented global financial crisis, such a situation should be avoided at all costs.

 衆参ねじれ国会で、与野党が対決するばかりでは、日本政治はまたも機能不全に陥る。未曽有の経済危機の下、そんな事態は回避すべきだ。

Interpellations in the Diet by party representatives over the second supplementary budget for fiscal 2008 started Tuesday. Yukio Hatoyama, secretary general of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, criticized a government plan for a flat-sum cash handout totaling \2 trillion as "the last word in massively stupid plans" and demanded that it be removed from the extra budget.

 2008年度第2次補正予算案に関する各党の代表質問が始まった。民主党の鳩山幹事長は、2兆円の定額給付金を「究極の大愚策」と批判し、補正予算案からの削除を要求した。

Prime Minister Taro Aso countered Hatoyama head-on, saying, "The plan is intended to provide emergency assistance to each household in the current economic downturn, and it also will benefit the economy by boosting consumption."

 麻生首相は、定額給付金は「景気後退下での家計への緊急支援であり、消費を増やす経済効果もある」と正面から反論した。

It cannot be denied that the handout will have a limited effect in stimulating the economy. But Hatoyama, who described the plan as "the most wasteful use of taxpayers' money," should spell out, in the form of a constructive counterproposal, a more effective way to pump-prime the economy.

 定額給付金の景気刺激効果が限定的なのは否めない。ただ、鳩山幹事長が「浪費の最たるもの」と主張するなら、より「有効な使い道」を建設的な対案の形で具体的に明示する必要がある。

Three opposition parties, including the DPJ, on Tuesday submitted to the lower house a bill to amend the government-proposed second extra budget. But the bill merely seeks to scrap the cash benefit plan. It does not contain alternative economic measures.

 民主など野党3党が衆院に提出した予算修正案は、定額給付金を削除するだけで、代わりの経済対策を盛り込んだものではない。

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Tactical move by opposition

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this move by the opposition parties is a strategy to gain political advantage and undermine the ruling parties by urging ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers who are critical of the cash benefit payments, including Yoshimi Watanabe, a former state minister in charge of administrative reform, to rise up in rebellion by voting against important government-proposed bills or for opposition-proposed ones.

 結局、渡辺喜美・元行政改革相ら、定額給付金に批判的な自民党議員に採決時の“造反”を促し、与党を揺さぶる政局的思惑によるものと見られても仕方がない。


If the government and ruling parties insist on taking a hard-line approach to passing budget-related bills that the opposition parties reject by resorting to a second vote in the lower house, where the LDP-New Komeito coalition has a two-thirds majority, the passage of the bills into law would be greatly delayed.

 政府・与党も、野党が反対する予算関連法案は衆院で再可決するという強硬路線一辺倒では、法案成立が大幅に遅れてしまう。

That would deal a blow to the economy and people's livelihoods. It would be a rerun of the ordinary Diet session last year, in which ruling and opposition parties were at loggerheads over the issue of whether the provisional gasoline tax rates should be maintained.

 その場合、日本経済や国民生活に悪影響が出かねない。ガソリン税の暫定税率維持などをめぐり、与野党が激突した昨年の通常国会の二の舞いである。

Taking into account the current global financial crisis, the ruling and opposition parties should put their heads together and come up with ways to deal with the Diet impasse.

 現在の経済危機の深刻さを踏まえれば、与野党は国会対応での協調を探るべきではないか。

Hatoyama asserted that the tough employment situation is "a human disaster politically generated by the Aso Cabinet." He urged Aso to back an emergency resolution jointly submitted by the opposition bloc for employment measures.

 雇用情勢の悪化について、鳩山幹事長は「麻生内閣による人災、政治災害だ」などと非難した。さらに、野党が共同提出した雇用対策の緊急決議案に賛成するよう麻生首相に求めた。

The opposition-proposed resolution merely seeks the "securement of public employment and residence" and the "flexible management of the welfare benefits system."

 決議案は、「国民の雇用と住まいの確保」と「生活保護の弾力的運用」を求めるだけの内容だ。

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No time for grandstanding

What is needed from the Diet now is not political performances that play to the gallery, but the immediate passage of a new law for effective employment policies. There are many pressing problems to tackle, such as the creation of new jobs, support for reemployment for those who have lost their jobs and measures to discourage the withdrawal of job offers.

 国会に今求められているのは、政治的パフォーマンスではない。実効性のある雇用政策を迅速に立法することだ。新たな雇用創出、失業者の再就職支援、内定取り消し対策など、取り組むべき課題は多く、いずれも急を要する。

The government-proposed bill to revise the Temporary Staffing Services Law includes a clause to basically prohibit dispatching registered workers on a daily-wage basis. But the opposition parties are considering submitting another bill to amend the law to prohibit dispatching temp staff to the manufacturing industry itself.

 日雇い派遣を原則禁止する労働者派遣法改正案に関し、野党内では、製造業への派遣自体を禁止する修正案も検討されている。

Careful consideration needs to be given to maintaining the international competitiveness of Japanese companies as well as temp workers' employment and working conditions. The ruling and opposition parties should rack their brains and try to hammer out a better approach to Diet business.

 派遣労働者の雇用・待遇に加えて、日本企業の国際競争力確保にも目配りが必要だ。与野党が知恵を出し合い、より良い合意をまとめる努力が重要となろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 7, 2009)

2009170150  読売新聞)

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