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2011年9月16日 (金)

代表質問 与野党協調の国会へ転換せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 16, 2011)
Ruling, opposition parties need to cooperate in Diet
代表質問 与野党協調の国会へ転換せよ(9月15日付・読売社説)

The public is watching the ruling and opposition parties closely, to see whether they can do away with unproductive confrontation and cooperate with each other.

Representatives of political parties have begun to ask questions about the policy speech Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda delivered at the Diet.

Noda has been responding in a detached tone, similar to what he used when delivering his policy speech. Perhaps having learned from the bad example of former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Noda did not get riled up at provocative questions. We understand his humble attitude in requesting cooperation from opposition parties.

Concerning the three-party policy agreement between the Democratic Party of Japan, Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki said, "I can't help but have serious doubts whether the agreement will be kept."

A key premise of the agreement was a review of the DPJ's 2009 House of Representatives election manifesto.
Tanigaki made this statement because Noda prioritized intraparty conciliation and appointed people who are reluctant to review the manifesto to key posts in the Cabinet and the DPJ.


3-party policy agreement

Noda emphasized again he would implement policies based on the three-party agreement. Concerning a review of the child-rearing allowance system in particular, Noda said, "I hope the three parties will sufficiently discuss the matter to work out a new system by the end of the year."
His remark appears to indicate that he respects the process of cooperation among the three parties.

However, concerning the resignation of Yoshio Hachiro as economy, trade and industry minister, Noda only said, "It is quite regrettable" and did not talk about his own responsibility in appointing Hachiro.

Noda previously said he put "the right people in the right posts," and we regret he did not explain his choices.

Tanigaki criticized the ruling parties for the fact that the current extraordinary Diet session will last only four days, saying they were "taking Diet business extremely lightly."

If Noda attaches importance to "thorough debate and dialogue" with opposition parties, he must acquiesce to all seven opposition parties' request that the Diet session be extended.


Realistic stance from Noda

Noda generally took a realistic stance toward immediate policy issues.

For instance, he denied "a dichotomy between zero nuclear power and promotion" of nuclear power generation, and sought to achieve the best combination of safe, stable energy sources.

He clearly stated the government will restart operations at nuclear power stations following regular inspections, once their safety has been thoroughly verified and confirmed.

It is a matter of course for him not to continue Kan's irresponsible "zero nuclear power" initiative.

On the Trans-Pacific Partnership multinational trade framework, Noda said only, "We will strategically pursue a conclusion of a high-level economic partnership agreement." He must swiftly decide that Japan will participate in negotiations on the TPP.

At this juncture, when the divided Diet has coincided with a national crisis, opposition parties also bear a heavy responsibility.

Tanigaki acknowledged recovery and reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake as "a responsibility beyond party boundaries" and declared his party would cooperate fully with the administration.

In that case, Tanigaki should participate in discussions between the ruling and opposition sides aimed at early passage of a third supplementary budget for this fiscal year to finance full-fledged restoration programs.

The LDP is scheduled to shuffle its lineup of major party posts shortly. The party needs to have an appropriate executive lineup to conduct discussions with the DPJ.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 15, 2011)
(2011年9月15日01時13分  読売新聞)


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