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2012年5月10日 (木)

小沢氏処分解除 「消費税」反対なら離党が筋だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 10, 2012)
If Ozawa opposes tax hike, it's time for him to leave DPJ
小沢氏処分解除 「消費税」反対なら離党が筋だ(5月9日付・読売社説)

The Democratic Party of Japan decided Tuesday to lift the suspension of former DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa's party membership. The move followed last month's court decision that found Ozawa not guilty of falsely reporting political funds handled by his political funds management body, Rikuzan-kai.
 民主党の常任幹事会は8日、陸山会事件で無罪判決を受けた小沢一郎元代表の党員資格停止処分の解除を決定した。

In February 2011, after Ozawa had been indicted on charges of violating the Political Funds Control Law, the then party leadership "suspended his party membership until a court ruling on his case becomes final."
 小沢氏が政治資金規正法違反で強制起訴された後の昨年2月、当時の民主党執行部は、「判決確定まで党員資格停止」とする処分を決めた。

The party decided to lift the suspension effective from Thursday--the deadline for court-designated lawyers acting as prosecutors to decide whether to appeal the not-guilty ruling. Moreover, the party agreed it would not change its decision even if the lawyers appeal the case.
 にもかかわらず、控訴期限の10日付の解除とし、指定弁護士が控訴しても変更しないという。

DPJ Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi justified this decision by saying, "It's our top priority to ensure full party unity," a reference to such issues as the government's plan for integrated reform of the social security and tax systems.
 その理由について、輿石幹事長は、社会保障と税の一体改革などを挙げ、「党内の一致結束が最優先の課題だ」と強調した。

Indeed, party unity is of the essence now if the DPJ is to resolve a host of challenges, including deliberations on the bill for the planned consumption tax rate increase. There are no defects in the procedure to lift Ozawa's suspension because the decision was approved at the DPJ's executive and standing officers councils.
 確かに、消費税率引き上げ関連法案など山積する課題解決のために党内がまとまるべき時だ。役員会、常任幹事会を経て解除を決めており、手続きに瑕疵(かし)はない。

===

Time to change stance

However, restoring Ozawa's party membership should have hinged on Ozawa himself changing his stance. First and foremost, he should end his opposition to the bill on the consumption tax increase.
 だが、処分解除で問われるのは小沢氏自身が姿勢を改めることである。まずは、消費増税法案への反対の矛を収めてもらいたい。

The consumption tax hike, which will generate additional fiscal resources for social security programs, was a major point of contention in the DPJ presidential election in late August last year. The party elected Yoshihiko Noda, an advocate of a tax increase, as president. Considerable time was later spent discussing the issue before the tax increase was decided by the party and the Cabinet.
 社会保障財源となる消費税率の引き上げ問題は、昨年8月末の党代表選で大きな争点となった。民主党は、引き上げを主張する野田氏を代表に選び、しかも、その後、時間をかけて丁寧に議論して法案を党と内閣で決定してきた。

With Ozawa's comments and actions regarding the consumption tax hike bill in mind, Noda said, "I want all party members to toe the party line, no matter who they are."
 野田首相は、消費増税法案に関する小沢氏の言動も念頭に「何人たりとも党員であるならば方針に従ってほしい」と述べている。

If Ozawa regains his party membership, it should be a given that he follows the party line. If he continues to oppose the bill, leaving the party must be his only option.
 小沢氏は、党員資格を回復する以上、党の方針に従うのが当たり前だろう。それでも法案に反対を貫く、というのであれば、離党するのが筋である。

Ozawa has a responsibility to explain in the Diet about the "politics and money" connection that led to three of his former secretaries being handed guilty rulings in the Rikuzan-kai case. The Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito confirmed Tuesday that they would call on Ozawa to testify in the Diet as a sworn witness.
 小沢氏には、陸山会事件で元秘書3人に有罪判決が出たことなど「政治とカネの問題」について国会で説明責任を果たすという課題も残っている。自民、公明両党は8日、小沢氏の証人喚問を要求していくことを確認した。

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Spirit of law belittled

In a recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey, 87 percent of respondents said Ozawa "has not fulfilled his accountability to the people." Making Ozawa appear before the Diet to explain his side of the story should have been a condition for reinstating his party membership.
 読売新聞の世論調査では、「国民に説明責任を果たしていない」との回答が87%に上っている。国会での説明は復権への条件だ。

In court hearings on the Rikuzan-kai case, Ozawa claimed he had never seen Rikuzan-kai's political funds reports and had entrusted all funding matters to his secretaries. We think he belittled the tenet of the Political Funds Control Law.
 一方、小沢氏は、陸山会事件の裁判で、政治資金収支報告書を見たことはなく「秘書任せ」にしてきた、と主張した。規正法の趣旨をあまりに軽んじていないか。

Diet members, excluding those of the Japanese Communist Party, receive state subsidies provided to political parties. These subsidies are tax money collected from the people. Ozawa's ducking of his responsibility to explain is inexcusable.
 共産党を除く国会議員は、党を通じて、国民の税金による政党交付金を受け取っている。小沢氏のような言い逃れは許されない。

A much-needed revision of the law to toughen politicians' responsibility to supervise accounting staffers and secretaries at their political organizations has been left in limbo. Both ruling and opposition parties have not taken action on the matter. Their slothfulness can only be described as a dereliction of duty.
 政治団体の会計責任者や秘書に対する政治家の監督責任強化を目指す、政治資金規正法の改正問題は放置されたままだ。法改正に腰を上げようとしない与野党は、怠慢としか言いようがない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 9, 2012)
(2012年5月9日02時17分  読売新聞)

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