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2011年1月16日 (日)

内閣改造―「問責交代」慣例にするな

2011/01/15
--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 14
EDITORIAL: Cabinet reshuffle
内閣改造―「問責交代」慣例にするな

Prime Minister Naoto Kan reshuffled his Cabinet and appointed executives of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan on Friday.
 菅直人首相がきょう、内閣改造と党役員人事を行う。

It is unusual to replace Cabinet ministers who were involved in compiling the budget before it is deliberated in the Diet. As Kan's administration is expected to face difficulty ahead, he must make appointments that will lead to rebuilding the Cabinet and the party.
 予算編成に携わった閣僚を、国会審議を前に交代させるのは異例である。これからの厳しい政権運営を見据え、首相としては内閣と党の立て直しにつながる布陣としなければなるまい。

The two Diet chambers are controlled by opposite camps. Under such circumstances, the ordinary Diet session to convene before the end of the month poses a crucial test for the administration, as its fate depends on whether it can pass the budget and related bills for fiscal 2011 that directly affect people's lives before the end of fiscal 2010.
 月内に召集される通常国会は、衆参ねじれ状況の下、国民生活に直結する新年度予算案と関連法案を年度内に成立させられるかどうか、政権の命運がかかった正念場となる。

Opposition parties, such as the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, have adamantly stuck to their position of boycotting Diet deliberations unless the prime minister replaces Cabinet ministers against whom the Upper House passed censure motions. If so, the replacement of Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku and Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Sumio Mabuchi is inevitable. The prime minister must have made such a realistic decision.
 自民、公明など野党は、参院で問責決議が可決された閣僚を代えない限り、国会審議を拒否するという方針を譲らない。であるなら、仙谷由人官房長官と馬淵澄夫国土交通相の交代はやむをえない。そんな現実的な判断を、首相は下したのだろう。

It is true that even though the Upper House is seen as "the secondary house," its motions carry weight as the Upper House's will.
 たしかに、「第二院」とはいえ、「参院の意思」としての決議は重い。

Here again we must point out that censure motions are not legally binding. But in actuality, the motions can hold the power to decide the political fate of Cabinet ministers. Such a situation oversteps the supposition of the Constitution, which stipulates the Lower House's superior standing.
 しかし、問責決議に法的拘束力がないことは改めて指摘しておかなければならない。それが事実上、政治的に閣僚の生殺与奪の権を握るような事態は、衆院の「優越」を定めた憲法の想定を超えているだろう。

Article 63 of the Constitution stipulates the right of Cabinet ministers as follows: "The prime minister and other ministers of state may, at any time, appear in either house for the purpose of speaking on bills."
 憲法63条は、首相その他の国務大臣は「何時でも議案について発言するため議院に出席することができる」と、閣僚の権利を定めてもいる。

As Sengoku put it, we have no choice but to say the opposition's stance of not taking part in deliberations that are attended by the censured Cabinet ministers is "unreasonable," also in light of this clear-cut provision.
 問責した閣僚が出席する国会審議には一切応じないとする野党の姿勢は、この明文規定に照らしても「無理筋」(仙谷氏)というほかない。

 国会に求められる政府へのチェック機能は、徹底した審議を通じて発揮されるべきである。

Just because Sengoku and Mabuchi were consequently replaced this time, the practice must not be made a convention in the running of the Diet.
 今回、結果的に仙谷、馬淵両氏が交代するからといって、これを今後の国会運営の慣例にしてはならない。

DPJ Secretary-General Katsuya Okada expressed a willingness to have ruling and opposition parties discuss the terms of the relationship between the two houses, including the positioning of censure motions.
 民主党の岡田克也幹事長は、問責決議の位置づけを含め、衆参両院の関係のあり方を与野党で議論したい考えを示した。

In this age of changing governments, any party can be a ruling party. Opposition parties are also urged to think of the problem as their own and agree to hold discussions with sincerity to share common awareness.
 政権交代時代を迎え、どの政党にも与党になる可能性がある。野党も当事者意識を持って、共通認識を得るべく真摯(しんし)に話し合いに応じて欲しい。

Meanwhile, the prime minister has brought Kaoru Yosano, who quit the Sunrise Party of Japan, into the administration. Since he was a member of the LDP, Yosano has been an ardent proponent of financial reconstruction, including a consumption tax increase. Apparently, the prime minister wants Yosano to take the lead in promoting tax and social security reform as a package.
 一方、首相はたちあがれ日本を離党した与謝野馨氏を政権に迎え入れる方針だ。自民党時代から消費税増税を含む財政再建に熱心だった与謝野氏に、税と社会保障の一体改革の推進役を期待してのことだろう。

However, Yosano has been harshly criticizing the DPJ administration's running of financial and fiscal affairs in the past. On which points do they agree and disagree? We wish to hear convincing explanations from both the prime minister and Yosano.
 ただ、与謝野氏はかつて民主党政権の経済財政運営を厳しく批判した経緯がある。どこが一致し、どこが一致できないのか、首相、与謝野氏の双方から納得できる説明を聞きたい。

It is true that Yosano is well versed in policy matters and the moving of the bureaucratic organization. But now that he has become an independent, there is no guarantee that he can demonstrate his abilities without a party behind him.
Can the prime minister produce a positive result with this unusual appointment? Kan's competence is about to be put to the test.
 政策通で、官僚組織の動かし方にたけているとはいえ、無所属となった与謝野氏がたった一人で政府に乗り込んでも、力量を発揮できる保証はない。異例の起用を結果に結びつけられるか、首相の力量もまた問われる。

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