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2013年3月19日 (火)

自民党大会 慢心せず「決められる」政治を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 19, 2013)
LDP must humbly proceed with decisive politics
自民党大会 慢心せず「決められる」政治を(3月18日付・読売社説)

The Liberal Democratic Party's regular party convention Sunday was suffused with good feeling over the LDP's return to power and strong public support. But the party's real strength will be put to the test in the House of Councillors election this summer.

At the convention, which was held in a Tokyo hotel, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed firm determination to win the election. "We'll fight it out successfully to regain a Japan we can be proud of," Abe said.

We unreservedly applaud the Abe administration for the steady achievements it has made since its inauguration in December. The excessively high yen has been corrected and stock prices have been rising.

Other accomplishments include the Diet's passage of a supplementary budget totaling 20 trillion yen to finance public works and other projects, and Diet approval of the government's nominations for the governor and two vice governors of the Bank of Japan.

Abe decided Japan would participate in the negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade framework. He sought public understanding of his decision, saying: "We'll protect Japan's agriculture and food without fail. Please trust me."

Fierce debate was conducted within the LDP between those in favor of joining the negotiations and those opposed. The latter group ultimately made the sensible choice of compromising. The LDP thereby demonstrated that its decision-making process is different from that of the Democratic Party of Japan, which acted inconsistently on policy matters due to a continued feud within the party while it was in power and ended up losing public support.

The LDP must remember as a ruling party to give top priority to national interests, instead of the interests of the industrial sector.


Off to a favorable start

So far, the Abe government has had smooth sailing. According to The Yomiuri Shimbun's latest public opinion survey, the approval rating for the Abe Cabinet was 72 percent, marking the third straight increase since its inauguration. The support rate for the LDP stood at 45 percent, far exceeding the 5 percent recorded by the second-place DPJ.

But as Abe put it, the LDP "should never be allowed to be conceited."

This is because the party's overwhelming victory in the House of Representatives election in December stemmed from voters' desire to punish the DPJ-led administration.

To regain public confidence, the LDP has no alternative but to make steady achievements by carrying out the Abenomics economic policy and making efforts to build a consensus with opposition parties.


Relationship with New Komeito

If the LDP and its coalition partner New Komeito win the upper house election to capture a majority in the chamber, it will end the divided Diet, in which the upper house is controlled by the opposition camp. This will help stabilize the management of the Abe administration for up to three years until the next national election.

At the same time, the government must pay attention to its relationship with Komeito.

The LDP, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party are showing keen interest in constitutional revision, but Komeito remains cautious about it.

"It shouldn't be done hastily. The proper way to win the public's trust is to try to humbly build a broad consensus," warned Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi, who attended the LDP convention as a guest.

This indicates there is strong resistance within Komeito to Abe's tendency toward the right.

How will the LDP deal with Komeito and the lay Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai, its major support base, which it has increasingly relied on in elections? The LDP will face a severe test in this regard.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 18, 2013)
(2013年3月18日01時29分  読売新聞)


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