« 余録:財務相のG7会見 | トップページ | GDP激減―戦後最大の危機に備えよ »

2009年2月18日 (水)

中川財務相―この大臣で大丈夫なのか

2009/2/18

--The Asahi Shimbun, Feb. 17(IHT/Asahi: February 18,2009)
EDITORIAL: Odd behavior in Rome

中川財務相―この大臣で大丈夫なのか

At a news conference in Rome on Saturday, Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa looked groggy and slurred his words as if drunk. His replies to reporters' questions were off the mark from what he had been asked.

 記者団との受け答えが、まるでかみ合わない。もうろうとした表情で、あたかも酔っぱらっているかのようにろれつが回らない。 

Footage of Nakagawa's bizarre behavior circulated around the world. The conference was held after a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations.

 主要7カ国財務相・中央銀行総裁会議(G7)が開かれたローマで、記者会見に臨んだ中川財務・金融相の異様な姿が、世界に報じられた。 

Given the global recession, the G-7 meeting was particularly significant. Markets around the world were eagerly awaiting word on how the G-7 nations will cooperate and what the financial leaders had to say. But what was the matter with the Japanese finance minister? Many people must have wondered with surprise and disgust.

 世界同時不況の中で主要国がどう協調し、市場にどんなメッセージを送るか。いつにも増して大きな役割を担ったG7の会合なのに、その日本代表に何が起きたのか。いぶかり、驚き、あきれた人は多いだろう。 

The images have been replayed repeatedly on TV and the Internet. Foreign media ran pictures of a bleary-eyed Nakagawa with captions to the effect that he appeared to have nodded off.

 その映像が繰り返し、テレビやネットで流される。外国のメディアも、日本の財務相が会議中に「眠ってしまったようだ」と写真付きで報じた。 

"I took probably double the required dose of cold medicine in both granules and tablets, which was too much and made me ill," Nakagawa explained later. He insisted he had not been under the influence of alcohol.

 本人は「顆粒(かりゅう)と錠剤の風邪薬をたぶん倍くらい飲んだ。薬が効きすぎて調子が悪くなった」などと釈明し、アルコールの影響を否定している。 

The tight schedule of the G-7 conference, coupled with the fact it was held in a different time zone from Japan, would have been grueling for anyone. If this was the reason Nakagawa was under the weather, we certainly can sympathize with him. Still, if he was too unwell to sit through the news conference, he could have delegated the matter to someone else or opted for any number of contingency plans.

 日程が過密なうえに、時差もある国際会議だ。体調を崩したのなら気の毒ではある。それでも、会見に耐えられそうもないなら代理に任せるとか、対応の仕方はあったはずだ。 

We find it hard to believe Nakagawa's claim that his condition had nothing to do with alcohol. As a high-profile politician who has held a series of key Cabinet and Liberal Democratic Party posts to date, his love of liquor is no secret in the political community.

 疑念をぬぐえないのは、飲酒の影響が本当になかったかどうかだ。中川氏といえば主要閣僚や党の要職を歴任した一方で、政界では酒好きで有名だ。

Nakagawa initially claimed, "I drank the night before, but didn't touch a drop before the news conference." He later elaborated, "I enjoyed some wine at lunch," but "I didn't guzzle."

本人は「前の晩は飲んだが、会見前は飲んでいない」と述べたものの、あとから「昼食会でワインをたしなんだ」「『ごっくん』はしていない」などと付け加えた。 

Mixing cold medicine and alcohol can induce a higher level of intoxication, and this could have been what happened to Nakagawa.

 アルコールと薬が相乗的に働いて、予想以上に酩酊(めいてい)したり、その状態が続いたりすることはありえるだろう。 

When he gave a fiscal policy speech in the Diet last month, he misread his prepared text 26 times. We don't believe his slip-ups then had anything to do with alcohol. But there is no denying that he was sorely lacking in professionalism as a Cabinet member.

 中川氏は先月の国会での財政演説で26カ所も読み間違った。まさか酒とは関係ないだろうが、閣僚として緊張感が欠けていたことは否めない。 

The main opposition Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) has demanded Nakagawa's dismissal. The party has threatened to propose a censure motion to the opposition-controlled Upper House if its demand is not met.

 民主党は中川氏の更迭を要求し、受け入れられなければ野党優位の参院に問責決議案を出す構えだ。

Prime Minister Taro Aso summoned Nakagawa to his official residence and told him, "I want you to take proper care of your health and continue to fulfill your Cabinet duties."

これに対し麻生首相は中川氏を官邸に呼び、「体調管理をしっかりして、引き続き職務に専念してほしい」と伝えた。 

Were Aso to replace his finance minister in the middle of budget deliberations, it would deal a serious blow to his already-embattled administration, whose approval ratings remain abysmal. But keeping Nakagawa in his post will not make the situation any easier for the Aso Cabinet, either. Should the Upper House pass the censure motion, opposition parties will most likely refuse to debate the budget plan with a censured finance minister and bring Upper House deliberations to a grinding halt.

 確かに、予算審議のさなかに財務相を交代させるとなれば、それでなくとも記録的な低支持率にあえぐ麻生政権への打撃は大きかろう。 

 だが、このまま中川氏がとどまっても茨(いばら)の道が待ち受ける。仮に問責決議が可決されれば、野党側は「そんな財務相を相手に予算審議はできない」と参院審議をストップさせるだろう。 

In that event, the Diet will inevitably be thrown into further confusion, even though the initial budget bill for fiscal 2009 and other bills need to be passed into law quickly. It would be out of the question to start working on the fiscal 2009 supplementary budget bill, which has already been floated by the government and the ruling coalition.

 09年度当初予算案などの成立を急がねばならないのに、国会審議のさらなる混迷は必至だ。政府与党内に早くも浮上している09年度の補正予算案づくりなど、とても進みそうにない。 

Nakagawa was a staunch backer of the Aso administration at its inception. The price Aso has to pay to protect his ally is anything but small. (Nakagawa resigned Tuesday after a censure motion was submitted).

 中川氏は麻生政権誕生を強力に後押しした。その盟友を守るためのツケは小さくない。

|

« 余録:財務相のG7会見 | トップページ | GDP激減―戦後最大の危機に備えよ »

03-英字新聞(朝日)」カテゴリの記事

コメント

コメントを書く



(ウェブ上には掲載しません)




« 余録:財務相のG7会見 | トップページ | GDP激減―戦後最大の危機に備えよ »