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2012年12月30日 (日)

次官連絡会議 真の「政治主導」を確立したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 30, 2012)
Real 'politician-led politics' should be pursued
次官連絡会議 真の「政治主導」を確立したい(12月29日付・読売社説)

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has nearly consolidated a politician-led government scheme and the political rules it aims to establish.
 安倍政権が目指す「政治主導」の仕組みとルールが固まりつつある。

It must set up a system that will allow politicians and bureaucrats to cooperate in making policy decisions and implementing them swiftly. To this end, restoring the relationship between politicians and bureaucrats, which was strained under the Democratic Party of Japan-led government, is indispensable.
 政治家と官僚が連携して、迅速に政策を決定、実行する体制を築かなければならない。そのためには、民主党政権で損なわれた政と官の関係修復が不可欠である。

At the first liaison meeting of top administrative officials of government ministries, Abe stressed, "We need to pursue real politician-led politics based on mutual trust between politicians and bureaucrats."
 安倍首相は、各府省の事務方トップを集めた「次官連絡会議」の初会合で「政官相互の信頼関係に基づく真の政治主導を推進する必要がある」と強調した。

This meeting, attended by officials at the vice minister level, is scheduled to be held every Friday after Cabinet meetings. It is aimed to work as a place where the ministries and the Cabinet Office share information and consider specific measures in line with Cabinet decisions.
 連絡会議は毎週金曜日の閣議後に開かれる。閣議が決めた方針に沿って、各府省が情報を共有し、具体策を検討する場となる。

The DPJ-led government scraped such a liaison meeting and excluded bureaucrats from policymaking. The rebuffed bureaucrats became less proactive and more apt to wait for instructions. This significantly deteriorated government functions.
 民主党政権は次官会議を廃止するなど、官僚を政策決定から排除した。その結果、官僚が萎縮して「指示待ち」の状態に陥り、政府の機能は著しく低下した。

Abe's move to facilitate cooperation within the government through such top bureaucrats is understandable. We regard it as reasonable that Abe aims to correct the inappropriate political leadership pursued by the DPJ, which acted like an opposition party and did not trust bureaucrats.
 安倍首相が次官を通じて政府内の連携を図ろうとする姿勢は理解できる。野党的感覚で官僚を信頼しなかった民主党の誤った政治主導を是正するのは当然である。

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Division of roles

A document on the roles of politicians and bureaucrats, agreed on during an informal ministerial meeting, says bureaucrats are tasked with providing basic information and presenting policy choices, while politicians are responsible for making policy decisions.
 政府が閣僚懇談会で申し合わせた「政・官の在り方」とする文書は、官僚が基礎データや政策の選択肢を複数提示し、政治家は政策決定に責任を持つとしている。

Unless politicians and bureaucrats divide their responsibilities and cooperate with each other, the government cannot work effectively on risk management, disaster responses and other state affairs.
 政治家と官僚が役割を分担し、協力し合わなければ、危機管理や災害対応などで政府が総力を挙げることはできない。

It is also rational for the Abe administration to resume regular press conferences by top administrative officials, another practice that was discontinued under the DPJ-led government. Previously, there had never appeared to be any problems with bureaucrats assisting ministers by holding press briefings to explain issues at the practical level.
 民主党政権が廃止した次官の記者会見を復活させるのも妥当だ。本来、官僚が記者会見での実務の説明を通じて閣僚を補佐することは何の問題もなかった。

Meanwhile, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party will reinstate procedures for submitting government-sponsored bills, allowing its General Council and divisions concerned of its Policy Research Council to examine and approve the bills in advance. The LDP Research Commission on the Tax System also will take the initiative in formulating government tax policies.
 一方、自民党は、政府提出法案などに関し、政務調査会の各担当部会と、総務会が事前に審査・了承する手続きを再開する。税制も党税制調査会がリードする。

Such a decision-making process led by a political party makes it easy for politicians to shape policies that reflect the opinions of their constituents and industries concerned, but the measures could be distorted by such opinions. Swift policy decisions are likely to be difficult if the Policy Research Council divisions have clashing interests.
 こうした党主導の意思決定は、関連する業界や地元の意見を反映しやすい反面、その意向に政策がゆがめられる恐れもある。各部会の利害が対立する場合は、迅速な政策決定が難しい。

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LDP to be tested over TPP

One noted example of this is the LDP's stance on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
 その一つが環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への態度決定だ。

Japan Agricultural Cooperatives and other entities oppose the multinational free trade framework. Over the TPP issue, the Foreign Ministry and the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry are also confronting the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry. Unless consensus is reached among lawmakers with different interests, the government will be unable to decide on Japan's participation in TPP negotiations.
 農協などが強く反対し、外務、経済産業両省と農林水産省も対立している。関係議員間の利害調整ができなければ、政府はTPP参加を決められまい。

Key policies that would affect national interests should be discussed from a broader perspective such as by the government's Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, and then be decided at the initiative of Prime Minister's Office.
 国益にかかわる重要政策は、経済財政諮問会議などの場で大所高所から議論して、首相官邸主導で決断すべきである。

Meanwhile, the LDP and its coalition partner New Komeito will also launch a liaison council as a consultative body of the government and ruling parties. We hope they will closely communicate with each other.
 政府・与党の協議機関として、「政府・与党連絡会議」も設置される。自民、公明両党は緊密な意思疎通を心掛けてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 29, 2012)
(2012年12月29日01時21分  読売新聞)

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