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2009年9月 2日 (水)


--The Asahi Shimbun, Sept. 1(IHT/Asahi: September 2,2009)
EDITORIAL: Transition of power

The main challenge now facing the Democratic Party of Japan is to sort out its priorities during its transition to power following its landslide victory in Sunday's Lower House election.

This is an issue of great concern and interest to the public, which is about to confront the first full-fledged change in government.

The nation cannot afford to be thrown into a political void concerning urgent issues that affect people's daily lives.

It will probably take about two weeks before the new DPJ government is formally set up.

DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama will form his Cabinet after he is named prime minister at a special Diet session to be convened in the week starting Sept. 14.

Hatoyama originally planned to set up a "transition team" immediately by making appointments to key government and party posts, such as the chief Cabinet secretary and the secretary-general.
But he postponed the process, apparently because he realized the need to spend more time on coordination within the party, which has nearly tripled its strength in the Lower House.

While Hatoyama has good reasons to carefully prepare for the start of his administration, there are issues that cannot be delayed, such as how to respond to the new swine flu epidemic.

The government estimates that some 380,000 people will be hospitalized, with about 38,000 developing serious symptoms. The peak could come as early as late September, immediately after Hatoyama takes office.

Still, vaccine for the new swine flu virus will not be ready in time.

While the Liberal Democratic Party government may be to blame for making insufficient preparations, the new government must take action as soon as possible.

We suggest Hatoyama immediately hold a meeting with Prime Minister Taro Aso to share information and work together to initiate new measures.

Aso will legally hold the highest government office for two more weeks, but Hatoyama shares the responsibility to address the public's concern about new swine flu.

Aso is not expected to insist that the LDP government should be in charge of policy-making until he leaves office. He might as well seek Hatoyama's cooperation.

The global economic crisis is another issue that calls for seamless policy efforts.

A meeting of finance ministers of the Group of 20 economies will start Friday in London.

The DPJ should send a lawmaker familiar with economic and financial issues.

That will not only smooth the DPJ's transition process. A DPJ representative could reassure other major economies by explaining the party's basic fiscal and monetary policy principles.

A precedent can be found in the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama.

Obama, who won the presidential election amid the deepening global economic crisis, appointed his economic team two months before his inauguration in January.
Obama said: "That work starts today because the truth is, we don't have a minute to waste."
His economic team put together one of the largest economic stimulus packages in U.S. history to deal with the crisis.

What is vital for the DPJ is to first distinguish between challenges that must be addressed immediately and those that require more time and then act swiftly.

The party cannot afford to waste a single minute during the coming two weeks.


« 社説:新政権に望む 脱官僚へ足場固めよ 自民も移行に協力を | トップページ | 歴史的惨敗―出直し自民党への教訓 »





« 社説:新政権に望む 脱官僚へ足場固めよ 自民も移行に協力を | トップページ | 歴史的惨敗―出直し自民党への教訓 »