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2012年10月21日 (日)

田中法相問題 これ以上「醜態」を見たくない

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 21, 2012)
Justice Minister Tanaka must go now
田中法相問題 これ以上「醜態」を見たくない(10月20日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda must not remain indecisive any longer over whether to dismiss Keishu Tanaka as justice minister.
 野田首相は手をこまねいている場合ではあるまい。田中法相の更迭に踏み切るべきである。

Tanaka, having been tainted with revelations about donations from a foreign national and past connections with a crime syndicate, skipped a Cabinet meeting on Friday for health reasons and was hospitalized later the same day.
 外国人からの献金や暴力団関係者との過去の交際が発覚した田中法相が19日、体調不良を理由に閣議を欠席し、入院した。

The justice minister reportedly conveyed his intention not to resign to Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura.
官房長官には「辞任しない」意向を伝えたという。

If he really is in poor health, his hospitalization is understandable. It seems, however, the justice minister may only be trying to squirm his way out of the question of whether he should step down.
 体調不良が事実なら入院はやむを得ないが、法相は実のところ、自らの進退問題から逃げ回っているだけではないのか。

The previous day, Tanaka was absent from a session of the House of Councillors' Audit Committee, at which his attendance had been sought by the opposition, pleading pressing "official duties."
 田中氏は、前日も野党から出席要求の出ていた参院決算委員会を「公務」を理由に欠席した。

Members of a cabinet must attend Diet deliberations when asked to do so by the legislature, since it is their obligation stipulated by Article 63 of the Constitution.
 閣僚が国会の要求に応じて審議に出席するのは、憲法63条に規定された義務である。

It is definitely reasonable that the opposition camp, having reacted adversely in chorus to the attitude of the justice minister, has stepped up its demands that the prime minister sack Tanaka.
法相の姿勢に野党側が一斉に反発して、罷免要求を強めているのは当然だ。

===

Links with crime syndicate

With an extraordinary Diet session drawing near, the Noda administration will find it tough to run state affairs if the current situation is left unaddressed. If the situation is left as it is, the public's image of the Democratic Party of Japan will grow even more negative than it already is.
 臨時国会を控える野田政権にとって、このままでは政権運営の支障になる。民主党の一層のイメージダウンも避けられない。

Immediately after Tanaka assumed the post of justice minister, it was disclosed that a DPJ branch he headed had received donations from a company run by a Taiwanese living in Japan.
 田中氏を巡っては、法相就任直後、自身が代表を務める民主党支部が、在日台湾人の経営する会社から献金を受けていたことが、明らかになった。

The Political Funds Control Law prohibits politicians from receiving contributions from foreign individuals or from entities whose membership consists mainly of non-Japanese. Although Tanaka committed himself on Oct. 4 to investigating and explaining the matter, he has yet to demonstrate his accountability.
 政治資金規正法は、外国人や外国人が主な構成員の団体から寄付を受けることを禁じている。田中氏は今月4日、事実関係を調査して説明すると述べながら、いまだに説明責任を果たしていない。

It has also come to light that Tanaka, about 30 years ago, attended a party hosted by a leader of an organized crime group, while acting as a wedding matchmaker for a person affiliated with a yakuza gang. Tanaka admitted these facts at a news conference, expressing his "profound apology."
 約30年前、暴力団幹部の宴席に出席し、別の暴力団関係者の仲人を務めたことも判明した。田中氏は記者会見でこれを認め、「大変申し訳ない」と謝罪している。

Given this, there is no doubt Tanaka was never appropriate as the person to head the nation's administration of justice.
 法務行政のトップとして不適格なのは、もはや明らかだろう。

The fact that the possible dismissal of the justice minister has become an issue barely half a month after the Cabinet reshuffle highlights the fragility of the new Cabinet lineup. This is mainly because the appointments reflect Noda's intention to hand out Cabinet and DPJ executive posts as rewards for backing him in the latest party leadership election, while also attempting to consolidate party unity through personnel affairs.
 内閣改造後、わずか半月あまりで、法相の進退問題が浮上したことは、民主党代表選での論功行賞や党内融和色の人事が目立つ布陣の脆(もろ)さを露呈している。

===

Noda's ability questionable

Since the prime minister claimed the reshuffle was aimed at "strengthening Cabinet functions," Noda should have closely scrutinized the abilities and aptitude of candidates for portfolios.
 野田首相は「内閣の機能強化」を改造の目的とした以上、能力や適性を見極める必要があった。

Regarding Tanaka, even his capability to respond to interpellations in Diet deliberations has been brought into question.
 田中氏については、国会での答弁能力すら、疑われている。

The prime minister of course must be held seriously responsible for appointing such a person to the post of justice minister.
このような人物を法相に据えた首相の任命責任は、厳しく問われてしかるべきである。

Under Noda's 13-month-old government, the personal qualities of more than a few Cabinet members have been called into question by the opposition. Two of his defense ministers--Yasuo Ichikawa and Naoki Tanaka--have even been dismissed.
 これまで野田内閣では、防衛相を更迭された一川保夫、田中直紀の両氏をはじめ、野党がその資質を問題にした閣僚が少なくなかった。

We cannot help but wonder if the prime minister has the ability to handle personnel affairs adequately.
首相の人事管理能力には疑問符をつけざるを得ない。

Japan is currently confronted with a multitude of important challenges, including diplomatic and security problems, rehabilitating deficit-stricken government finances and recovery from business stagnation.
 日本は今、外交・安全保障や財政再建、景気対策など様々な重要案件を抱えている。

The prime minister must not let the problem of whether to dismiss Justice Minister Tanaka drag on any longer.
首相は、田中法相の進退問題をこれ以上、引きずってはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 20, 2012)
(2012年10月20日01時52分  読売新聞)

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