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2011年1月16日 (日)

藤井副長官、誕生秘話

(Mainichi Japan) January 15, 2011
Appointment of aging politicians to top Cabinet posts comes as a surprise
松田喬和の首相番日誌:藤井副長官、誕生秘話

The focal point in the Cabinet reshuffle on Jan. 14 is undoubtedly the appointments of 78-year-old Hirohisa Fujii as deputy chief Cabinet secretary and 72-year-old Kaoru Yosano as state minister for economic and fiscal policy and social security reform.
 菅直人再改造内閣の最大の目玉は、藤井裕久官房副長官(78)と与謝野馨経済財政・社会保障担当相(72)だろう。

The two, who had belonged to the University of Tokyo baseball club, share basic economic and fiscal policy. Both of them have attached importance to rehabilitating the debt-ridden state's finances and emphasized that sufficient financial resources must be secured to establish a sustainable social security system.
東大野球部の先輩、後輩というだけでなく、経済政策でも共通点が多い。共に財政規律派で、持続性のある社会保障制度の整備にはそれに見合う財源の確保が必要と主張してきた。

Fujii served as finance minister in the non-Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) coalition Cabinets of Morihiro Hosokawa and Tsutomu Hata in the early 1990s. He was again appointed as finance minister in the Cabinet of Yukio Hatoyama, who took over the reins of government from the LDP in 2009.
 藤井氏は非自民の細川護熙、羽田孜政権で蔵相を務め、政権交代を成し遂げた鳩山由紀夫政権では財務相に就任した大長老だ。

The post of deputy chief Cabinet secretary is viewed as the gateway to success for younger politicians. In the previous LDP-led administration, many successful politicians assumed the post as the first step up the ladder of their careers. Former ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leader Ichiro Ozawa also served as deputy chief Cabinet secretary in the administration of former Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita.
 官房副長官ポストは若手政治家の登竜門とされ、自民党政権は副長官を経験した実力者を輩出した。民主党の小沢一郎元代表も竹下登政権で経験している。

However, unlike most of those who have assumed the post, Fujii is the second oldest DPJ legislator next only to former House of Representatives Vice Speaker Kozo Watanabe. Fujii resigned as finance minister during his tenure last year because of illness.
だが、藤井氏は渡部恒三元衆院副議長に次ぐ年配で、昨年は財務相を病気で途中辞任している。

There had been signs that Fujii would assume the post despite his advanced age.
 そんな藤井氏の副長官就任にはいくつかの伏線があった。

Several days before the reshuffle, Fujii consulted with then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku -- who was under pressure to step down because he had been slapped with a censure motion by the opposition-controlled House of Councillors -- over the lineup of a new Cabinet.
 藤井氏は先日、問責決議を理由に野党から更迭を迫られていた仙谷由人官房長官(当時)と改造内閣の人選を協議した。

In their talks, Fujii told Sengoku that in 1968, then Prime Minister Eisaku Sato demoted Chief Cabinet Secretary Toshio Kimura to deputy chief Cabinet secretary.
その席で藤井氏が紹介したのが、68年に当時の佐藤栄作首相がそれまで官房長官だった木村俊夫氏を副長官に降格させた逸話だった。

Fujii then explained to Sengoku that Sato appointed influential legislator Shigeru Hori as Kimura's successor in order to stabilize his administration.
後任には大物の保利茂氏を据え、政権の安定に努めた。

As a result, the Sato Cabinet became the longest-serving administration in Japan's post-war history.
結果として佐藤内閣は戦後最長を記録した。

Fujii then urged Sengoku to stay in the prime minister's office by all means.
 どんな形であれ、官邸にとどまるように--。

In response, Sengoku offered to assume the post of deputy chief Cabinet secretary on condition that Fujii replace him as chief Cabinet secretary.
藤井氏は仙谷氏を説得した。だが、仙谷氏は「藤井官房長官なら(副長官に就く)」と逆提案をしてきた。

In declining Fujii said, "I don't have enough physical strength to do so," but at that point Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his administration appeared to have begun considering appointing Fujii as deputy chief Cabinet secretary.
藤井氏は「私は体力的にも無理」と固辞したが、藤井副長官誕生は、これを機に検討され始めたようだ。

Fujii, who is an expert in tax and fiscal policy, has led intraparty discussions on tax system reform as head of the DPJ's tax and social security system reform, while getting some ideas from a government report on such reform compiled under the LDP-led administration.
 税財政に精通する藤井氏は、党の「税と社会保障の抜本改革調査会」会長として、自民党政権下の報告書も参考に議論を進めている。

Yosano, who served as finance minister in the Cabinet of Taro Aso of the LDP, set up an advisory panel on tax and social security system reform that compiled the report.
一方、与謝野氏は麻生太郎内閣で財務相などを務め、藤井氏が参考とする報告書をまとめた「安心社会実現会議」をスタートさせた。

Fujii was then deemed as the right person to mediate between Kan and Yosano.
与謝野氏と菅首相の間を取り持つ役目は藤井氏が最適だ。

Japan has been drifting since the speculation-driven, asset-inflating bubble economy burst in the early 1990s.  バブル崩壊後、日本は漂流を続けている。

The government must put the brakes on Japan's drift and establish a sustainable social security system as the population is rapidly aging.
超高齢化社会を前に一刻も早く止めなくてはならない。

The appointments of these influential politicians who are over 70 to these posts came as a surprise to most members of the public. However, pessimism alone cannot stop Japan's drift. (By Takakazu Matsuda, Expert Senior Writer)
70歳を超えた2人の起用は異例だが、冷笑するだけでは漂流は止まらない。(専門編集委員、65歳)

毎日新聞 2011年1月15日 東京朝刊

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