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2009年12月26日 (土)

鳩山首相団体偽装献金:元秘書ら2人起訴 「知らない」ことの罪=社会部長・小泉敬太

(Mainichi Japan) December 25, 2009
Hatoyama funding scandal shows just how out-of-touch the PM really is
鳩山首相団体偽装献金:元秘書ら2人起訴 「知らない」ことの罪=社会部長・小泉敬太

Yukio Hatoyama revealed his concerns to the Mainichi in September 1994, when his family's taxable inheritance was made public following the death of his father: "If we don't consider lowering the tax rate, people are no longer going to be able to live in Tokyo, where land prices are high."
 「税率を下げることを考えないと、地価の高い東京には人が住めなくなる」
 鳩山由紀夫首相は94年9月、父の威一郎元外相の課税遺産額が公示されたのを受け、毎日新聞にそう語っていた。

Former Foreign Minister Iichiro Hatoyama had left a fortune of 15.2 billion yen, for which his family paid some 5 billion yen in inheritance taxes. Yukio Hatoyama himself paid over 1.6 billion yen in tax on the sale of stocks bequeathed to him.
遺産は152億円に上り、遺族が納めた相続税は計約50億円。このうち首相は相続した株の売却などで16億円余りを納税した。

The future prime minister's worry was one that would only have occurred to a wealthy grandson of the founder of Bridgestone Corp, a major tire manufacturer. Far removed from the general public's concept of money, his remark sounded selfish.
ブリヂストン創業者を祖父に持つ大富豪の御曹司ならではの悩み。それは世間の感覚とかけ離れ、身勝手な主張に映る。

The recent fake donation scandal involving the prime minister's state-paid secretary is unique to independently wealthy politicians. Many past cases of Political Funds Control Law violations involved politicians falsifying records to hide donations from private corporations, a typical example of which was the scandal involving Nishimatsu Construction Co. and an aide to Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa.
 元公設第1秘書による偽装献金事件は、富豪政治家であるがゆえに起きた特異ケースといえる。過去に政治資金規正法違反で摘発された多くが、政治家側が企業からの献金を隠すために政治資金収支報告書に虚偽記載したケース。その典型が民主党の小沢一郎幹事長側への西松建設の献金事件だった。

Hatoyama's secretary, however, altered records to make it seem as though funds provided by family members were actually from individual donors, in an effort to give the appearance that there was widespread support for Hatoyama. Some argue that in contrast to corporate donation scandals, his case is not such a major issue because it was not driven by self-interest. However, the fact remains that the actions of his secretary betrayed the principle underlying the Political Funds Control Law -- to increase transparency in the flow of funds towards the aim of preventing political corruption -- and deceived the public.
 これに対し、鳩山首相の元秘書は身内からの金を支持者らからの個人献金と偽装し、国民から多くの支持を集めているよう見せかけていたという。企業献金と違い利権に絡まずさほど問題ではないとの擁護論も聞かれる。しかし、資金の流れを公開して透明化を図り政治腐敗防止につなげようという規正法の理念に真っ向から背き、国民を欺いた点で罪深さに変わりはない。

It was only with media reports that deceased people had been falsely listed in Hatoyama's political fund reports as funding donors, and subsequent accusations from a citizens' organization, that the murky flow of vast amounts of funds surrounding the prime minister came to light. If it hadn't been for these acts of whistleblowing, records would have continued to be falsified and the provision of funds from the prime minister's mother would never have ceased. This should not be overlooked.
 鳩山首相側に故人からの献金が記載されているとの報道とそれに続く市民団体の告発を契機に、首相周辺の不透明な巨額資金の流れがあぶり出された。報道と告発がなければ偽装は今なお続き、実母からの資金提供も途絶えることはなかったはずだ。その点も見過ごすことはできない。

Above all, Hatoyama's delayed handling of the issue and his vague explanations have exacerbated the public's distrust towards politics. The prime minister himself has been spared any legal sanctions because no evidence indicating his involvement in the fake reports have been found, and has repeatedly claimed that he "knew nothing." But ignorance of an annual allowance 180 million yen from his mother seems rather far-fetched. And if, indeed, it is true that he was not aware of the funds, then that in itself, is a much bigger problem: Can someone so out of touch with the public's reality understand their hardships? Can we leave that person responsible for the collection of taxes and determining how that money will be spent?
 そして何よりも、首相の一連の対応の鈍さと、あいまいな説明を繰り返してきた姿勢が政治不信を増幅させた。自身は関与が認められず不問とされ、「何も知らなかった」と強調したが、実母から毎年1億8000万円もの資金が流れ込みながら、一切知らなかったとはにわかに信じ難い。が、本当に知らなかったとすれば、事はさらに深刻ではないか。世間と乖離(かいり)した人に国民の生活の痛みが理解できるのか、税の徴収と使い道のあり方を委ねていいのかという疑問が膨らむ。

The investigation into the relationship between politics and money is expected to continue, with Lower House legislator and former secretary to Ozawa Tomohiro Ishikawa, among others, slated to undergo questioning. Barring swift fundamental revisions to the Political Funds Control Law that would hold politicians accountable for their secretaries' legal transgressions as in the Public Offices Election Law, confidence in politics will no doubt continue to plummet. (By Keita Koizumi, City News Editor)
 小沢幹事長の秘書だった石川知裕衆院議員(民主)らの聴取も予定され「政治とカネ」をめぐる捜査はなお続く見込みだ。秘書が有罪になれば政治家も公民権停止になる公選法の「連座制」を規正法にも導入するなど抜本改正に早急に乗り出さなければ、不信は極まるばかりだ。

毎日新聞 2009年12月25日 東京朝刊

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