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2013年2月 9日 (土)

国会同意人事 事前報道で拒む参院民主の愚

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 9, 2013)
DPJ must not repeat folly over government appointments
国会同意人事 事前報道で拒む参院民主の愚(2月8日付・読売社説)

We cannot help but be flabbergasted at the attitude of the Democratic Party of Japan in the House of Councillors. It is as if the DPJ has reverted to its outdated pattern of dogmatic "out-and-out opposition."
 「抵抗野党」に先祖返りしたかのような参院民主党の態度には、唖然(あぜん)とするしかない。

Azuma Koshiishi, the head of the DPJ's upper house caucus, said in a news conference Thursday that his party intends to reject a government offer to discuss a plan to appoint former Administrative Vice Finance Minister Kazuyuki Sugimoto as the next chairman of the Fair Trade Commission.
Koshiishi said the offer will be rejected on the grounds that the government's candidate for the position was made public in The Yomiuri Shimbun and other media prior to the official announcement.
 民主党の輿石東参院議員会長が記者会見し、公正取引委員会委員長に杉本和行元財務次官を充てる政府の人事案を読売新聞などが報道したとして、「党としては政府からの提示を受けない」との意向を示した。

Koshiishi's argument leverages a rule that government appointments reported in advance in the media should in principal be rejected by the Diet.
 政府が国会に人事案を提示する前に、それが報道された場合、原則として当該者の提示は受け付けないとする与野党の「事前報道ルール」を振りかざしたものだ。

The DPJ leadership, apparently unnerved by Koshiishi's remark, is seeking to shift its policy in favor of holding discussions on the nomination if the government provides a convincing explanation about the news reports that emerged prior to its submission of the plan to the legislature.
 輿石氏の発言にあわてた民主党執行部は、政府から事前報道について納得のいく説明があれば人事案の提示を受けると軌道修正を図っている。

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Media's freedom threatened

The latest hubbub has again highlighted the DPJ's inability to muster a unified response to issues surrounding its policies.
 党の方針を巡ってまとまった対応の出来ない民主党の姿をまたもや露呈したとも言えよう。

The rule on nominations requiring Diet approval was set when the Diet became divided after the 2007 upper house election, which saw the ruling camp lose its majority in the upper house but retain control of the House of Representatives.
 このルールは2007年参院選で衆参ねじれ国会になったことを機に設けられた。

At that time, the DPJ and other opposition parties that held a majority in the upper house sharply objected to the fact that several government nominations to executive posts of government bodies were reported in the media prior to their official announcements. They argued that advance media reports were tantamount to stripping Diet deliberations of their substance and importance.
一部の同意人事案が、提示前に新聞報道されたことに対し、参院で多数を占める野党の民主党などが国会審議の形骸化を招くと反発したためだ。

There may yet be, however, other cases where high-profile government personnel appointments may be reported before being officially announced.
 だが、国民の関心が高い人事は、政府の提示前でも報じられることが十分あり得る。

The rule carries significant risk of eroding the freedom of the press to gather and report news. It could also be exploited through the deliberate leaking of information to the media to nullify the government's intended appointments. The rule is clearly more harmful than beneficial, and must therefore be scrapped.
事前報道ルールは、報道規制につながりかねない上、情報の意図的な漏えいによって、人事案をつぶすことも可能だ。廃止すべき悪弊である。

In July, during the DPJ-led administration, the opposition Liberal Democratic Party opposed the government's appointment of the head and other executives of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, as reporting of the planned appointees preceded the official announcements. Has the DPJ already forgotten that it proposed the abolition of the rule at that time?
 民主党政権下の昨年7月、原子力規制委員会の人事案が事前に報道された時には、野党だった自民党が反対した。民主党はその際、ルール廃止を提案したことをもう忘れたのだろうか。

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End futile bickering

Shortly before Koshiishi's statement, DPJ Secretary General Goshi Hosono went on record in favor of the rule's abolition, saying, "When we were in power, [the rule] annoyed us."
 民主党の細野幹事長は、「与党時代に苦しんだ」として廃止に賛意を示していた。

As the ruling and opposition blocs had been operating in the current Diet session under the basic assumption that the rule would be abolished, Koshiishi's rash statement constitutes a serious stumbling block to cooperation.
今国会では与野党がルールの廃止を確認する方向で協議してきたのに、輿石氏の発言は、それを“ちゃぶ台返し”するようなものだ。

This futile bickering, with the DPJ and the LDP changing their positions in relation to which party currently holds power, must end.
 与野党が攻守所を変えた不毛な争いはやめるべきである。

Many personnel appointments requiring Diet approval are high on the agenda, including such important posts as FTC chief and head of the NRA.
 今国会では、公取委員長や原子力規制委員長など重要な国会同意人事案件が多数控えている。

Of particular note is the issue of who will take the helm of the Bank of Japan to replace current Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa, who will resign March 19.
 注目されるのは3月19日に辞任する白川方明日銀総裁の後任だ。

The government's previous nomination for the head of the central bank in 2008 was voted down in the upper house due to opposition from the DPJ, which was then out of power. As a result, the crucial post was left vacant for nearly one month.
前回08年に政府が示した人事案は野党だった民主党が反対して参院で否決され、1か月近くも総裁が空席となる事態を招いた。

Is Koshiishi really determined to persevere with his adherence to this detrimental rule?
 輿石氏は、あくまで事前報道ルールを盾に抵抗する姿勢を貫くのだろうか。

The DPJ's return to the old-fashioned opposition party tactic of objecting for objection's sake, despite lessons drawn from the experience of being in power, will likely cause voters to turn their back on the party.
 与党としての経験を生かすことなく、抵抗野党に戻るようでは有権者に見放されよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 8, 2013)
(2013年2月8日01時27分  読売新聞)

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