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2010年4月28日 (水)

献金事件終結―世間の常識は納得しない

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 27
EDITORIAL: Hatoyama in the clear.
献金事件終結―世間の常識は納得しない

A prosecution inquest committee, charged with examining the decision of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office not to indict Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama over falsified political fund reports by his fund management organization, concluded Monday that the right action had been taken.
But if we were to sum up the inquest committee's thinking, it would go something like this: "The prosecutors' decision was appropriate in terms of the law and the evidence obtained, but it was not something the public at large could readily accept."
 法と証拠に照らせば不起訴は妥当だが、ふつうの市民感覚からすると釈然としないものがある。
 鳩山由紀夫首相の資金管理団体をめぐる偽装献金事件で、検察審査会の議決内容を一言で言えば、そういうことになるだろう。

Hatoyama's former state-paid aide, who was found guilty last week of falsifying political fund reports, had been in charge of managing and reporting Hatoyama's political funds. Hatoyama himself had no knowledge of the falsification and there was insufficient evidence to justify indicting the prime minister, the committee concluded.
 首相は政治資金の管理の一切を、先に有罪判決を受けた元秘書らに任せきりにしていた。収支報告書への虚偽記載も全く知らなかった。起訴するに足る証拠はないというのが結論だ。

However, the panel did question Hatoyama's statement that he had no idea his mother was funneling 15 million yen ($160,000) a month to him. "This is unthinkable for any average citizen," the panel noted.
 一方で、議決は毎月1500万円にのぼる母からの資金提供を全く知らなかったという首相の説明に対し、「素朴な国民感情として考えがたい」と疑問を呈した。

And touching on the fact that prosecutors did not question the prime minister directly, the panel observed, "Quite a few (of the) members raised questions about the content of (the prime minister's) written statement (submitted to prosecutors), which only gave his side of the story."
 東京地検が首相の事情聴取を行わなかったことにも触れ、「(首相の)一方的な言い分にすぎない上申書の内容そのものに疑問を投げかける声が少なからずあった」とも付言した。

Hatoyama has reiterated in the Diet that he had no knowledge of the money coming from his mother. He even said that, should evidence to the contrary ever come to light, he would feel obliged to resign from the Diet.
 首相は国会でも、母からの資金提供は知らなかったと繰り返し説明してきた。もし、反する事実が明らかになれば「(国会議員の)バッジを付けている資格はない」とまで言い切った。

But in an opinion poll conducted soon afterward, more than 70 percent of respondents said they were "not convinced" by the prime minister's explanation. The prosecution inquest committee's comments were only to be expected.
 しかし、その後の世論調査でも、首相の対応に「納得できない」という回答は70%を超えている。検察審査会の指摘も当然だろう。

We urge Hatoyama to reflect on the bleak reality that no matter how many times he may try to explain himself, he is not going to be believed by the people.
 何度説明しても国民に信用してもらえないという事実の重みを、首相はこの機会に深刻に受け止めるべきだ。

He has simply got to change his ways if he wants to be believed. For instance, he should comply with the opposition camp's demand that his former aide and others testify in the Diet as a sworn witness. And if necessary, he should also ask his mother and senior officials of the Hatoyama family's asset management company to testify publicly.
 これまでのようなやり方では到底、納得は得られまい。野党が求める元秘書らの証人喚問に応じる。場合によれば、母や鳩山家の資産管理会社の幹部にも公の場で証言してもらう。

Without making such sincere and probably painful efforts, it would be difficult for Hatoyama to recover his credibility.
 そうした身を切るような努力なくして、ここまで落ちた信頼を回復するのは難しい。

When a politician's accountant is found to have falsified a fund report, the current Political Fund Control Law provides that the politician is to be held responsible if he or she "failed to pay due attention" to both the "appointment" and "supervision" of the accountant.
 現行の政治資金規正法では、会計責任者が虚偽記載をした場合、政治家本人まで責任を問われるのは、会計責任者の「選任」と「監督」双方に「相当の注意を怠ったとき」とされる。

On this issue, the committee pointed out the necessity of amending the law, noting, "It goes against society's common sense to exempt a politician from criminal responsibility so long as the politician appointed (the accountant) appropriately, even if he or she failed to supervise the accountant properly."
 この点についても、検察審査会の議決は「選任さえ問題なければ監督不十分でも刑事責任に問われないというのは、世間一般の常識に合致していない」と、法改正の必要性を指摘した。

In fact, this provision saved former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto from prosecution in 2004 after it was revealed that his Liberal Democratic Party faction had falsified a political fund report to conceal a 100-million-yen donation it had received.
 かつて自民党旧橋本派の1億円献金隠し事件の際も、この規定が壁になって、橋本龍太郎元首相の責任が問われなかった。

It may be impractical to seek unlimited responsibility of politicians for supervising their accountants. But it is also perfectly natural for the public at large to sense the injustice of punishing only the accountant and not holding the politician accountable. Along with banning corporate and group donations, we want the ruling and opposition parties to hold thorough suprapartisan discussions on the issue. We expect the prime minister to lead the way.
 監督責任を際限なく求めることは難しいかもしれないが、政治家本人が全く不問に付されるのはおかしいという市民感覚はごく真っ当なものだろう。企業・団体献金の禁止とともに、与野党で議論を深めてほしい。首相はその先頭に立つべきだ。

The prosecution inquest committee's decision spells the end of investigations into Hatoyama's political fund scandal. But the prime minister cannot escape political responsibility.
 今回の議決で捜査は終結しても、首相はその政治責任から逃れることはできない。

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