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2013年2月21日 (木)

国会同意人事 事前報道ルール撤廃は当然だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 21, 2013)
Scrapping prior media coverage rule a wise decision
国会同意人事 事前報道ルール撤廃は当然だ(2月20日付・読売社説)

The rules on personnel appointments requiring approval in both houses of the Diet, which have caused much confusion of late, have finally been reviewed.
 様々な混乱を招いてきた国会同意人事のルールがようやく見直された。

The Diet must steadily push through procedures to select officials for important posts, including the Bank of Japan governor.
国会は、日本銀行総裁など重要ポストを選任するための手続きを着実に進めなければならない。

The ruling and opposition parties have agreed to scrap the so-called prior media coverage rule. The rule states that the Diet can reject in principle the government's personnel appointment proposals if they are leaked by the media before officially becoming public.
 政府の国会同意人事案が事前に報道された場合、原則として国会への提示を認めないとする「事前報道ルール」について、与野党が撤廃することで合意した。

It is appropriate to abolish this useless and damaging rule that has just been used by opposition parties to put pressure on the government since its introduction in 2007. Approval of proposed personnel appointments should be based on candidates' abilities and knowledge. It is unreasonable to turn down an appointment simply because it was reported in the news beforehand.
 2007年の導入以来、野党が政府を揺さぶる手段としてきた無用で有害なルールを廃止したのは当然である。政府の人事案の可否は本来、候補の能力や識見で判断すべきであり、報道を理由とした門前払いは筋違いだ。

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Further delays must be avoided

When the Democratic Party of Japan was in power, it insisted the rule be scrapped. However, the DPJ recently rejected the government's offer to discuss the proposed appointment of former Administrative Vice Finance Minister Kazuyuki Sugimoto as the next chairman of the Fair Trade Commission, on the grounds that the plan was reported by the media in advance. This is a purely senseless act that only amplifies public distrust in politics.
 民主党は与党当時、ルールの撤廃を主張していた。ところが、今回、公正取引委員長に杉本和行元財務次官を充てる人事案について事前報道を理由に提示を一時拒否した。政治不信を増幅する浅慮と言うほかない。

In their latest agreement, the ruling and opposition parties urge the government to ensure thorough information management for its personnel appointment proposals. The agreement also states that if the government's plans are reported by the media in advance, the parties will ask the government to launch an investigation into the leak and report its findings to the Diet after presenting the personnel plans for approval.
 与野党は新たな合意で、政府に人事案の「情報管理の徹底」を求めた。事前報道があれば、提示後、政府に情報漏えいの調査と、国会への報告を求めるとしている。

Still, there may be some cases in which high-profile government appointments are reported by news agencies before they are officially announced. We find it troubling if the new agreement is aimed at regulating the media.
 だが、国民の関心が高い人事案の場合、報道機関が独自に取材し、事前に報じることは十分あり得る。それを規制する狙いがあるとすれば、大きな問題である。

Personnel appointments for a total of 253 posts in 36 organizations currently require Diet approval.
 国会同意が必要なポストは、全部で36機関の253人に上る。

Under the divided Diet, the former DPJ-led administration had difficulty finalizing its selection of candidates, delaying many appointments and disrupting national politics.
 衆参ねじれ国会の下、民主党政権が人選に手間取ったこともあって、多くの人事が停滞し、国政に支障を来している。

For example, the FTC chairman post has been vacant since September last year. The post of Board of Audit president also remains unfilled, along with four of the seven expert positions on the Council for Science and Technology Policy.
 例えば、公取委員長の空席は昨年9月から続いている。会計検査院の院長も不在で、総合科学技術会議は7人の有識者議員のうち4人が欠けている。

The ruling and opposition parties must endeavor to smoothly expedite the latest personnel appointment plans based on the new agreement.
 与野党は、新たな合意に基づき、こうした人事案の円滑な処理に努めねばならない。

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More work ahead

In addition to the problematic prior media coverage rule, many other issues have been highlighted with regard to personnel appointments subject to Diet approval.
 国会同意人事については、事前報道ルール以外にも多くの問題点が指摘されている。

There used to be a provision for some posts that set the supremacy of the House of Representatives over that of the House of Councillors. This allowed the government to officially announce personnel appointments with only the approval of the lower house if it could not obtain the consent of the upper house. However, such provisions have been abolished one after another at the request of the upper house and for other reasons.
 参院の同意が得られない場合、政府は衆院の同意だけで人事を発令できるとする「衆院の優越」規定が、かつて一部のポストにあった。しかし、参院側の要請などで次々と廃止された。

Another provision allows officials to remain in their posts even after completing their terms if their successors are left undecided. However, this can only be applied for certain positions.
 後任者が未定の場合、任期が満了しても職務を継続できる規定もあるが、一部に限られる。

Furthermore, for discussion will probably be nesessary on the issue of whether to expand the scope of people who give their opinions in the Diet before voting begins on personnel appointments.
 同意の議決に先立ち、所信を聴取する対象者を拡大するかどうかも検討課題となろう。

In addition to the latest agreement, the ruling and opposition parties should strive to further improve the system for personnel appointments requiring Diet approval.
 与野党は、今回の合意にとどめず、同意人事のあり方について一層の改善を図るべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 20, 2013)
(2013年2月20日01時38分  読売新聞)

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