« 香山リカのココロの万華鏡:“ジャクソンさん中毒” /東京 | トップページ | 警察白書 国民の「抵抗力」が被害を防ぐ »

2009年8月10日 (月)

09総選挙に問う―「政府」をつくり直さねば

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 8(IHT/Asahi: August 10,2009)
EDITORIAL: Politicians and policy
09総選挙に問う―「政府」をつくり直さねば

■これまでの官僚依存の政治はもはや限界だ

■政党が主導権を発揮できる体制が問われる

The longstanding system that allows bureaucrats to play a leading role in the nation's politics has reached a dead end.
 長く日本の政治を支え、動かしてきた「官僚主導」が行き詰まっている。

Under this system, bureaucrats define national interests and develop and execute the optimal policies to promote them.
 官僚が国益を考え、最適の政策をつくり、それを実施する。

The status of bureaucrats changed from the emperor's servants, as they were since the beginning of Japan's modernization in the late 19th century until the end of World War II, to "servants of the whole community," as defined under the postwar Constitution.
But the basic policymaking structure has not changed much. The bureaucracy takes the initiative in mapping out policies and the governing party simply piggybacks on the proposed programs.
明治以来の「天皇の官吏」から戦後の「全体の奉仕者」に変わっても、官僚機構が政策づくりの主導権を握り、政権党がそこに乗っかるという基本構図はあまり変わらなかった。

Unlike political parties, which tend to get locked in partisan battles over narrow, parochial concerns, and politicians, who tend to be influenced by the interests of their constituencies, bureaucrats are supposed to focus purely on national interests as they carry out their duties.
 党利党略や選挙区利益に左右されがちな政党、政治家と違って、官僚は純粋に国益を考え、仕事をこなす。

It is fair to say that many bureaucrats have worked hard at their jobs with a sense of mission, and won the trust of the people. Saburo Shiroyama's novel about such hardworking bureaucrats, titled "Kanryo-tachi no Natsu (The summer of bureaucrats)," has recently been made into a TV series.
多くの官僚はそうした気概に支えられ、国民の信頼も得ていたと言っていいだろう。そんな姿を描いた城山三郎氏の「官僚たちの夏」が最近、テレビドラマになった。

But many Japanese are keenly aware that this traditional system is no longer working.
 この仕組みがうまく機能しなくなっていることを、多くの国民がひしひしと感じている。

That is clear, for instance, from the history of massive public works spending in Japan. Bureaucrats, working in tandem with the Liberal Democratic Party, kept funneling huge amounts of financial resources into projects to build roads, bridges and other infrastructure, turning Japan into a unique "construction state."
 たとえば、自民党とともに道路などに膨大な資源を投入し続け、世界にも珍しい土建国家を築き上げてしまった公共事業。

Even though Japan has changed from a fast-growing emerging economy to a mature economy with slower growth, there has been no major shift in public works policy, with the road budget kept off-limits to any radical reform.
日本社会が高度成長の青年期から低成長の熟年期に入ってきたのに、道路予算は聖域化され、根本的な方向転換ができない。

Despite growing public demand for increased spending on social security programs and policy efforts to maintain the people's living standards, politicians serving the interests of the construction industry and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism are working together to prevent the reform needed to change budget allocations. The prime minister does not have the power to break their resistance.
 社会保障や暮らしの分野への予算配分を増やすべきだという民意は高まっているのに、族議員と国土交通省が待ったをかける。それを押し戻す力が首相にはない。

Meanwhile, a string of bid-rigging scandals involving former bureaucrats on the payrolls of businesses they once supervised has come to light. A series of revelations has exposed numerous examples of wasteful public works spending.
 その一方で、天下り官僚がからんだ談合事件が摘発され、数々の予算の無駄遣いも露見した。

Bureaucrats monopolize policy information. This could cause serious problems, as is obvious from the devastating scandals over pension recordkeeping at the Social Insurance Agency.
 官僚は政策に関する情報を独占する。社会保険庁での年金不祥事の深刻さを思うまでもない。

Furthermore, bureaucrats, who are not elected officials, are not held directly accountable for misguided policies.
そして、選挙で選ばれない官僚は、失政への責任を直接問われることもない。

While many people think this system is already beginning to collapse, the bureaucratic stranglehold on government is showing no signs of easing.
 システムが壊れかけている。多くの人がそう考えているのに、岩盤のように固い官主導のシステムはいっこうに改まらない。

Here lies one fundamental factor behind the public distrust of politics.
政治に対する国民の不信の根源の一つがここにある。

* * *
     ◇

Under a parliamentary Cabinet system, the government is formed by the party that controls parliament. The governing party should lead the bureaucracy in crafting and implementing policy.
 本来、議院内閣制のもとでは、政府を組織するのは議会で多数を握る政党であり、その政権党が官僚機構を主導して政策を実施していくべきなのだ。

In Japan, however, the ruling party has been less than eager to take the lead in policymaking. On the contrary, the party has maintained cozy relations based on mutual dependence with the bureaucracy.
なのに、政党の側にその役割を果たす意欲が乏しかったどころか、むしろ官ともたれあってきたことが、こうした現実の背景にある。

It is hardly surprising that main opposition party Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), which is seeking to wrest power from the LDP in the upcoming Lower House election, has made proposals to change the status quo.
 ここに抜本的なメスを入れようという提案が、政権交代を掲げる民主党から出てきたのは当然だろう。

Minshuto promised to establish a system in which it will control policymaking if it comes to power through five specific measures described at the outset of its election manifesto. The party's main proposals include the following.
マニフェストの冒頭に五つの具体策を掲げて、政権をとれば民主党が政府を主導する仕組みをつくると公約している。
 主な内容は次の通りだ。

A team of lawmakers would be appointed to top posts at each ministry and agency, such as senior vice ministers, parliamentary secretaries and advisory aides to ministers. Through such political appointments, more than 100 politicians of the party would direct policymaking within the government.
▽各省に副大臣や政務官、大臣補佐官らのチームを送り込み、全体で100人以上の政治家が政府内で主導権を握る

A new "national strategy bureau" would be created to map out policy visions and budget outlines under the direct supervision of the prime minister.
▽国家ビジョンや予算の骨格づくりを担う首相直属の「国家戦略局」を新設する

A new administrative reform council would monitor the entire operation of the government to check and eliminate waste and illegalities.
▽行政全般に目を光らせ、無駄や不正を排除する「行政刷新会議」を新設する。

Under the LDP, policy decisions are made under a bottom-up system. Policy proposals are made from ministries and agencies and endorsed by the Cabinet after the party's screening.
 自民党政権での意思決定は、各省から上がってきた政策を、党の審査をへて閣議で承認するというボトムアップ型が基本である。

Minshuto's top-down approach would reverse the process. The broad outlines of key policies and the order of priority would be determined by the prime minister's office and then communicated to the related ministries and agencies for implementation.
これを逆転させ、重要政策の大枠や優先順位は首相官邸で決め、各省に下ろして実行させる。トップダウン型である。

This approach is designed to remove wasteful and dubious expenditures from the government budget. These are items that have been allowed to remain far too long. Some have been hidden in the shadows of the highly compartmentalized bureaucratic system. Others are the result of cozy ties between bureaucrats and special-interest politicians. This reform should lead to budget allocations more focused on policy priorities.
 縦割りの陰にまぎれ、あるいは族議員とのなれ合いでこれまで許容されてきた予算の無駄や不公正を徹底的に洗い出し、最優先する政策の財源にあてようということだ。

Minshuto says it would ax government contracts whose main purpose is to support businesses offering cushy jobs to retiring bureaucrats.
天下り役人を養うための事業発注などにはばっさり大なたをふるう。

* * *
     ◇

There is no telling whether the system envisioned by Minshuto will actually work as advertised until it is tested in the real world.
 うたい文句通りに新組織が機能するかどうかは、やってみなければ分からない。

Do politicians have the ability to shoulder such heavy policymaking responsibilities? Will the envisaged new cooperative relations with bureaucrats working on the front line of policy implementation really work?
政治家の側にこれだけの責任を担えるだけの能力があるのか。実際に政策の最前線に立つ官僚との新しい協働関係は機能するのか。

There are many questions and uneasiness concerning the opposition party's policymaking vision.
疑問や不安は限りなくわいてくる。

But driving a stake into the entrenched structure of bureaucratic control of policymaking may require radical reform in several power transfers through elections.
だが、岩盤に穴をうがつには、一度ならず何度かの政権交代という大変革が必要なのかもしれない。

The LDP, of course, has not been unaware of the importance of lawmakers' leadership in the government.
 もちろん、自民党も「政治主導」の大事さに気づかなかったわけではない。

The ruling party's manifesto pledges to launch a national strategy staff to support the prime minister and enhance political leadership. It also promises a complete end to the practice of amakudari--senior bureaucrats retiring into plum jobs in the industries they supervised. But the document offers few specific measures to achieve these objectives.
今回のマニフェストでも「首相を補佐する国家戦略スタッフの発足を現実のものとし……、政治主導を一層強化する」「天下り根絶」などとしているものの、具体策はほとんど書かれていない。

The LDP is stressing its ability to carry out a public mandate in a responsible way. We urge the ruling party to make a sweeping review of the relations between politicians and bureaucrats under its long rule and present a convincing plan to overhaul the system.
 政権担当の「責任力」を掲げる自民党に求めたいのは、長期政権の下での政と官のあり方を総括し、説得力のある制度改革を提示することだ。

How should relations between politicians and bureaucrats be changed? Answering this question in a meaningful way requires serious debate on key decentralization issues. What should the roles of the central and local governments be? How should revenue be distributed?
 政と官の関係をどう刷新するか。それにはそもそも中央政府はどんな仕事を担当し、自治体には何を任せるのか、税源をどう分けるのか、分権の議論が欠かせまい。

Voters are hoping to be offered viable options for the future of this nation that address all these questions.
有権者が問いたいのは、そこまで含めた「この国のかたち」の選択肢なのだ。

All the parties are stressing their election promises concerning the protection of people's livelihoods in their campaigns for the upcoming Lower House poll.
 この総選挙では、各党とも暮らしを守る公約に力を入れている。

The question is who would develop and execute specific policies to achieve these goals and how they would be implemented.
The kind of government this nation should have is a large and important issue fit for the campaign debate for this historic election.
そうした政策を、だれがどのように具体化し、実行するのか、政府の姿をめぐる議論はこの歴史的な総選挙にふさわしい大テーマである。

|

« 香山リカのココロの万華鏡:“ジャクソンさん中毒” /東京 | トップページ | 警察白書 国民の「抵抗力」が被害を防ぐ »

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)




« 香山リカのココロの万華鏡:“ジャクソンさん中毒” /東京 | トップページ | 警察白書 国民の「抵抗力」が被害を防ぐ »