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2010年6月 9日 (水)

民主党新執行部 「小沢支配」脱し開かれた党に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 9, 2010)
DPJ must eliminate Ozawa's influence
民主党新執行部 「小沢支配」脱し開かれた党に(6月8日付・読売社説)

The Democratic Party of Japan must completely change its culture, which has allegedly been controlled by former Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa, to regain the public confidence lost under the regime of Ozawa and former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

New DPJ President and Prime Minister Naoto Kan has chosen his party's new leadership, appointing Yukio Edano, former state minister in charge of government revitalization, to the powerful post of secretary general. Edano has worked with Kan since the days when they both belonged to the now-defunct New Party Sakigake.

Kan also appointed Jun Azumi, chairman of the House of Representatives Security Committee, as head of the party's Election Campaign Committee. Like Edano, Azumi has been critical of Ozawa.


Return power to the govt

These appointments seem to indicate that Kan is trying to personally direct election campaign measures and Diet affairs through Edano and Azumi, areas that were controlled by Ozawa.

Many DPJ members have kept silent about the money-and-politics scandal involving the former secretary general because Ozawa had too much authority in selecting the party's official candidates and distributing election campaign funds.

"I'll drastically increase the transparency of party management," Edano said after being named DPJ secretary general. He will be expected to eliminate Ozawa's influence and get the party back into shape for the House of Councillors election to be held this summer.

Kan resurrected the party's Policy Research Committee, which had been disbanded at Ozawa's initiative, and appointed Koichiro Gemba, chairman of the lower house Financial Affairs Committee, as its chairman. Gemba also has kept his distance from Ozawa.

Gemba also was named state minister in charge of civil service reform. This unconventional appointment aims at making Gemba a bridge between the Cabinet and the DPJ and at mending relations between them, which apparently became strained during the Hatoyama administration.

Ozawa dissolved the party's Policy Research Committee and made the secretary general's office the sole window for policy petitions from regions and industries.

Ozawa's voice of authority made the government withdraw its plans to abolish provisionally higher gasoline and other tax rates during the compilation of this fiscal year's budget. The DPJ also reversed the policy decided on by the government concerning revision of expressway toll discounts.

This abnormal situation where the DPJ has more power than the government must be corrected.


Stop high-handed approach

Shinji Tarutoko, chairman of the lower house Environment Committee and Kan's sole challenger in Friday's DPJ presidential election, was tapped to be chief of the party's Diet Affairs Committee.

On the surface, this appointment may look like a gesture of respect to Tarutoko, who won a certain amount of votes in the presidential election. Its real aim, however, is said to be removing Kenji Yamaoka, who is directly connected to Ozawa, from the post of Diet affairs chief.

Ozawa's high-handed approach to Diet affairs management was also criticized strongly.

The DPJ has been neglecting repeated demands by opposition parties to summon Ozawa and others embroiled in the money-and-politics scandal to testify before the Diet. It also refused to hold intensive Diet deliberations on the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture, although the opposition parties requested them.

The DPJ must revise its way of managing Diet affairs, which currently relies on the force of numbers and slights deliberations.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 8, 2010)
(2010年6月8日01時18分  読売新聞)


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