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2009年7月15日 (水)

問責決議可決 民主党は貨物法案を葬るのか

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jul. 15, 2009)
Is DPJ going to kill off N. Korea cargo bill?
問責決議可決 民主党は貨物法案を葬るのか(7月15日付・読売社説)

A no-confidence motion submitted by four of the opposition parties against Prime Minister Taro Aso's Cabinet was voted down by the House of Representatives on Tuesday, but a censure motion against the prime minister passed the House of Councillors.

Following the approval of the censure motion, the opposition parties began boycotting the Diet session in the both upper and lower houses, saying they cannot discuss bills under a prime minister they have censured.

If this deadlock continues, 17 bills the government has submitted to the current Diet session, including one to enable inspections of North Korean cargo, likely would be scrapped with the dissolution of the lower house, tipped for July 21 at the earliest.

The ruling bloc and the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan look set to reach an agreement on changes to be made to some bills sponsored by lawmakers, including one to revise the law banning child prostitution and pornography, but they likely also will be cast aside.

Does the DPJ really think it is right to let the North Korean cargo inspection bill be abandoned? If the bill is not approved, the Japan Coast Guard and customs will remain unable to inspect the cargo of ships traveling to and from North Korea, or to seize embargoed items.

These measures are called for under a U.N. Security Council resolution against North Korea.


DPJ wary of N. Korea bill

DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama at a press conference expressed his intention to approve early passage of the cargo inspection bill, the contents of which meet the U.N.-centered approach advocated by the DPJ. These two factors make it reasonable for the main opposition party to support the bill.

Some DPJ members, including those from the former Japan Socialist Party, remain cautious about the bill because it enables the dispatch of Maritime Self-Defense Force ships. According to some observers, the DPJ is concerned that if the party were to support the bill, it could adversely affect its electoral alliance with the Social Democratic Party before the lower house election.

But failing to ensure the nation's domestic laws are adequate might also come back to haunt the DPJ.


Undermining joint intl efforts

In the latter half of September, weeks after the lower house election, the U.N. General Assembly will meet in New York and a Group of 20 financial summit meeting is to be held in Pittsburgh.

The Japanese prime minister is expected to attend these meetings and it is highly likely that prime minister will hold summit talks at that time with U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The meetings present excellent opportunities for Japan to encourage the leaders of China and the other countries to faithfully implement the U.N. Security Council resolution on North Korea and give the prime minister a chance to highlight the need to strenghten the coalition of nations to urge North Korea to abandon its nuclear development program.

If the DPJ wins the upcoming lower house election and a change of power is realized, "Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama" will make his international debut at these meetings. If the North Korean cargo inspection bill is not yet approved at this time, Hatoyama's appeal to the world leaders will have no impact. Will the DPJ not regret this?

The ruling bloc has criticized the DPJ for refusing to take part in Diet deliberations, saying the main opposition party is doing so to avoiding being pursued in the Diet over the scandal regarding fabrication of personal donations to Hatoyama.

Whether this criticism is right or wrong, the DPJ should still cooperate with the ruling coalition parties to ensure the North Korean cargo inspection bill passes the Diet by the end of the current session.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 15, 2009)
(2009年7月15日01時18分  読売新聞)


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