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2010年4月21日 (水)

創新党旗揚げ 首長連合らしい具体策を示せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Apr. 21, 2010)

New party must propose concrete policies for nation
創新党旗揚げ 首長連合らしい具体策を示せ(4月20日付・読売社説)

Another new party aiming to become the third major political force in the Diet has been formed, reflecting disappointment and frustration toward the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party, this country's two leading political parties.

Current and former heads of local governments--including Hiroshi Yamada, mayor of Tokyo's Suginami Ward, and Hiroshi Nakada, a former mayor of Yokohama--have formed Nippon Soshinto (party aiming to create a new Japan).

Nippon Soshinto is led by Yamada, who has expressed a strong sense of crisis concerning the current political situation in this country.
"Japan will collapse if things remain as they are," Yamada said.

He criticized the economic policy of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's Cabinet, saying it lacks cost-consciousness and management sense.
Yamada also said the Hatoyama Cabinet is shaking up the Japan-U.S. security alliance and upsetting the peace by brandishing empty ideals.


Critical of DPJ despite ties

As both Yamada and Nakada are former members of the defunct Japan New Party, they have close ties with members of the DPJ. As a result, a recently formed alliance of local government chiefs supporting the new party includes many former DPJ members, including Saitama Gov. Kiyoshi Ueda.

However, Yamada and the others--who could be expected to support the DPJ--have instead started a new party and are criticizing DPJ policies. This indicates how frustrated they are with the current administration's management of national politics.

Although regional economies are sluggish, the DPJ-led government considers public investment to be villainous and has frozen even projects necessary for local communities. It also has not yet finalized the details of its promised child-rearing allowances, although time is running short before local governments are scheduled to begin distributing the allowances in June.

Local government heads are supporting the new party apparently due to their strong reaction to such negligence toward local governments. The DPJ should take their criticism seriously.

However, the LDP also cannot afford to stay on the sidelines. A spate of new parties has been formed because the main opposition LDP lacks the aggressiveness to take power back from the ruling party and has failed to capitalize on criticism of the DPJ.

The LDP also must appreciate the grave fact that local government heads are rejecting the current management of national politics.


Clear policies required

If Soshinto is aiming to be part of national politics, it must propose concrete solutions to various problems both within and outside this country. If it is concerned about the possible bankruptcy of the national government, it must state by how many percentage points the consumption tax rate needs to be raised.
It should also clarify one of the key policies named in the new party's basic philosophies--"self-reliance of the nation" is ambiguous. How is this different from the "fifty-fifty relationship" between Japan and the United States sought by the DPJ?

Also, the self-reliance of local governments mentioned in the basic philosophies sounds similar to the regional sovereignty advocated by the DPJ. Soshinto will be able to fully capitalize on its strengths only when the party makes detailed proposals on decentralization, based on its members' administrative experience as heads of local governments.

Soshinto members must present their policies and help deepen discussions in the Diet so they will not be criticized as forming a new party just to hold the deciding votes in the Diet.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 20, 2010)
(2010年4月20日01時28分  読売新聞)


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