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2012年8月14日 (火)

終盤国会 民自公で残る懸案に取り組め

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 14, 2012)
Parties must tackle remaining issues before end of Diet session
終盤国会 民自公で残る懸案に取り組め(8月13日付・読売社説)

The passage rate of bills submitted by the government during the current ordinary Diet session is only 48 percent. Many observers doubt whether it will even reach the record-low 54 percent seen in the 2010 ordinary Diet session.

Poor management of Diet affairs by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and resistance of the opposition parties, triggered by censure against two cabinet ministers, have stagnated deliberations on bills.

A large number of issues need to be dealt with in the final phase of the current Diet session. We expect the DPJ, the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito to maintain their current partnership and achieve tangible results.

Only three weeks--if the Bon holiday period is excluded--remain to discuss bills before the end of the current session on Sept. 8.


Prioritize important bills

Diet members have to identify important bills and deliberate them efficiently. These include a bill to allow the government to issue deficit-covering bonds and bills on the revision of the Public Offices Election Law to alleviate disparity in the value of votes by reducing the number of seats at the House of Representatives by five.

For instance, the DPJ, the LDP and Komeito have agreed on the early passage of bills to create a common personal identification number for social security and taxation systems, which is necessary for comprehensive reform of those systems, and to realize an Osaka metropolis.

The three parties must also recognize the urgency of Diet agreement on personnel appointments for a nuclear regulatory commission.

Why has Diet agreement on the personnel appointments proposed by the government in late July been put off?

If the launch of the commission scheduled for September is postponed, it might delay the safety inspections necessary for reactivation of idle nuclear reactors.

It is also intolerable the Diet failed to approve international treaties.

The government has submitted 11 bills in the current session on international treaties for Diet approval, including the Hague Convention on treatment of children when international marriages fail.

However, none have been approved so far, due to confrontation between the ruling and opposition parties in the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. The Diet cannot escape criticism for being negligent in its duty.


TPP, energy also on agenda

There is also a mountain of political issues other than bills, which require consensus building between the ruling and opposition parties.

They include possible participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade agreement, the realization of a new energy policy, including the role of nuclear power, and mid- and long-term reform of the public pension system.

None of the issues can move forward without a stable political foundation where the national leader can look resolutely forward.

It is a grave fact that neither the DPJ nor the LDP and Komeito have a majority in the House of Councillors.  参院では、民主党も自公両党も過半数を握っていないという事実は重い。

Whatever election pledges or policy issues the three parties make in the next lower house election, they cannot be realized and will become empty promises without a tripartite partnership among the DPJ, the LDP and Komeito in the so-called divided Diet where the opposition maintains control of the upper house.

We believe it is significant for the three parties to maintain a relationship of trust as they must seek a tripartite partnership not only before, but also after the lower house election.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 13, 2012)
(2012年8月13日01時17分  読売新聞)


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