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2011年2月19日 (土)

民主党内紛 会派離脱は筋が通らぬ

(Mainichi Japan) February 18, 2011
Pro-Ozawa lawmakers' attempt to split from parliamentary alliance lacks sense
社説:民主党内紛 会派離脱は筋が通らぬ

Only recently former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama stirred up a political storm by labeling his reference to the deterrent role of the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa as an "expedient" to rationalize relocation of Air Station Futenma within Okinawa Prefecture.
Now, another commotion has erupted within the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) over an attempt by 16 party members close to scandal-tainted party heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa to break away from the DPJ-led parliamentary alliance in the House of Representatives.

Indeed, the latest move deals a blow to Prime Minister Naoto Kan and underscores the deadlock that his administration has reached. But as long as internal strife continues within the party, public distrust of the DPJ will only increase.

The actions of the 16 party members -- who are attempting to leave the parliamentary alliance in the lower house while remaining in the party -- cannot simply be described as a surprise move; it is a tactic that cannot be permitted.

Parliamentary groups are constituents of the Diet that play a part in deciding the number of seats on committees and the allocation of questioning time. It is not unusual for a particular party to form an alliance with independent Diet members or for several parties to form a single alliance, but the party remains a key factor in forming the alliance.

If one political party were to split up into several parliamentary alliances and their decisions were divided on important decisions such as the naming of the prime minister and the passing of important bills, then the very foundations of party politics or parliamentary business would be shaken.

In order for politicians to leave a parliamentary alliance, the representative of the alliance must submit notification to the chairman. In other words, they must submit to procedures determined by the party.

It is only natural for DPJ Secretary-General Katsuya Okada to announce that he does not plan to allow the members to leave the alliance.

In a declaration, the 16 lawmakers heavily criticized the Kan administration, saying it had discarded its election manifesto along with its promises to the public. However, the members told a news conference that it would be meaningless for them to leave the party.

The 16 are probably of the position that their party should return to the roots of its manifesto.

But if that's the case, the members should be working to achieve their goals. They will not win understanding from the public by leaving their parliamentary alliance because their arguments are not getting through, or shaking the political situation by taking a different line in the Diet -- they would be better to leave the party altogether.

Of course, this would not be of any benefit when the party is trying to pass next fiscal year's budget and related bills quickly.

The Liberal Democratic Party and other opposition parties have demanded major revisions or the withdrawal of the DPJ's manifesto, and it is clear that returning to the line of the manifesto at this stage would not lead to smooth operations in the Diet.

But at the same time, one could not be blamed for thinking that the 16 lawmakers are actually upset about moves by the DPJ leadership to suspend Ozawa's qualifications as a party member, and are trying to topple Kan to secure new leadership and a review of any punishment of Ozawa.

Kan and Okada cannot get away with leaving the situation as it is.

They have to take firm action against the move to split from the party alliance.

The party is dreaming if it thinks it can take part in discussions with the opposition parties when the prime minister can't bring his own party under control.

There is now no option but for Kan to be prepared for a split within the DPJ.

毎日新聞 2011年2月18日 2時32分


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