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2012年4月12日 (木)

自民党公約原案 TPPや原発に及び腰過ぎる

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Apr. 12, 2012)
LDP's draft platform too weak on TPP, N-power
自民党公約原案 TPPや原発に及び腰過ぎる(4月11日付・読売社説)

The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party should not look away from key issues if it seriously aims to return to power.
 政権奪還を本気で目指すのなら、重要な政策から逃げてはならない。

The LDP has compiled a draft election platform for the next House of Representatives election.
 自民党が次期衆院選の公約原案をまとめた。

Calling for constitutional amendments, a fundamental issue that led to the party's formation, the LDP has included in the draft platform a proposal to add a new article to better deal with national security contingencies. It also calls for the establishment of a basic security law that will allow the nation to exercise its right to collective self-defense.
 立党の原点である憲法改正では緊急事態条項の新設を盛り込んだ。集団的自衛権行使を可能とする安全保障基本法制定も明記した。

The draft platform also seeks to curb welfare benefits for people in need while focusing more on measures to encourage self-help efforts.
自助努力を基本に生活保護費抑制を打ち出した。

These proposals are praiseworthy.
いずれも評価できよう。

As for consumption tax increases--the most contentious issue--the LDP has pledged in the draft platform to establish stable financial and social security systems by raising the tax rate to 10 percent and keeping it at that level for some time.
 最大の課題である消費税に関しては、「当面10%」への税率引き上げで、安定した財政と社会保障制度を確立するとしている。

At first, some LDP members were cautious about referring to a specific tax rate because the party would end up seeking the same rate as the one the government's bill calls for. However, the LDP's failure to stipulate the rate would have meant the party had abandoned its election platform pledge for the 2010 House of Councillors election. It stands to reason that the party has maintained the pledge.
 政府の消費税率引き上げ関連法案と共通するため、党内には、税率に言及することに慎重論もあった。だが、明記しないと、2010年参院選の公約の撤回になる。筋を通したのは当然だ。

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Tax stance no different

The LDP's draft platform shows again that the LDP's stance on the consumption tax hike does not differ significantly from that of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan. As long as the LDP has taken up the consumption tax issue in its draft platform, it should accept calls from the government and DPJ to discuss the related bill.
 消費税率引き上げに関して、民主、自民両党の考えに開きがないことが改めて明確になった。自民党は、公約に掲げる以上、政府・民主党が呼び掛ける関連法案の協議に応じるべきである。

It is problematic that the draft stipulates the LDP opposes the nation's participation in negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade framework if they are premised on the elimination of all tariffs without exception.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)について、「『聖域なき関税撤廃』を前提にする交渉参加に反対」とした点は問題だ。

The reference was apparently made out of consideration to agricultural groups that would be negatively affected by the nation's participation in the TPP framework. This underscores the LDP's aim to woo votes from the agricultural sector in future elections.
 TPP参加で打撃を受ける農業団体への配慮から「反対」という文言を入れたのだろう。選挙での農業票欲しさも透けて見える。

However, even if the LDP won the next lower house election and returned to power, it would not be able to avoid the TPP issue.
 しかし、仮に自民党が衆院選で勝利し、政権に復帰すれば、TPPを避けては通れない。

Making inroads into Asian and other emerging markets by promoting free trade is essential to Japan's growth.
 自由貿易を推進し、アジアなどの市場を取り込むことが日本の成長には欠かせない。

The LDP needs to draw up measures to enhance the competitiveness of the nation's agriculture, which has been declining, and shift its stance to support Japan's participation in the TPP negotiations.
 自民党は、衰退の一途をたどる農業の競争力強化策を示し、TPP交渉に積極的に参加する方針に政策を改める必要がある。

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Unclear on energy policy

Questions have been also raised over the LDP's position on nuclear power policy. The party failed to show its policy direction in the draft platform because its members could not reach a consensus on whether the nation should continue or discontinue the use of nuclear power.
 原子力政策にも大きな疑問符がつく。原発利用の継続か、脱原発かで党内論議がまとまらず、何ら方向性を明示できなかった。

The draft platform said the LDP will make a final decision on the matter within 10 years after national discussions. As most reactors are currently not in operation, Japan's energy supply is seriously at risk.
 今後、10年間に「国民的議論で結論」を出すという。ほとんどの原発が停止し、日本のエネルギー供給が極めて深刻な状態にある。

Postponing a decision for 10 years on the matter is way too irresponsible.
なのに10年間も結論を先送りするのはあまりに無責任である。

It is the LDP that has stressed the need for nuclear power generation for many years. The party's prefectural chapter in Aomori, where nuclear power facilities are located, and others concerned have criticized the party for being wishy-washy on the matter. The LDP should present specific mid- and long-term policies on nuclear power and other energy sources.
 原発の必要性を長年、国民に説いてきたのは自民党だ。原発を抱える青森県連などから「党の方針が明確ではない」という批判が出ている。この際、原発を含む中長期のエネルギー政策を具体的に提示すべきだろう。

In a recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey, the LDP's approval rating stood at 16 percent, below the DPJ's 17 percent. The LDP's failure to clarify its stance on key issues may be one thing preventing the party from regaining its strength.
 読売新聞の世論調査で、自民党支持率は、民主党の17%を下回る16%だった。党勢が回復しないのは、重要な政策に明確な方針を示せないことも一因ではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 11, 2012)
(2012年4月11日01時22分  読売新聞)

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