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2013年4月19日 (金)

党首討論 手詰まり感漂う海江田民主党

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 19, 2013
Don't Kaieda and DPJ know how to say anything other than 'No'?
党首討論 手詰まり感漂う海江田民主党(4月18日付・読売社説)

There was a stark contrast between Prime Minster Shinzo Abe and Democratic Party of Japan President Banri Kaieda during their debate in the Diet. Backed by the recent surge of stock prices and a high public approval rate, Abe looked confident--even relaxed--while Kaieda's attacks on him made no impact.
 株価の急上昇と高い支持率で余裕すら感じられた安倍首相と対照的に、民主党の海江田代表の追及は迫力を欠いた。

As long as the leader of the largest opposition party continues such a lackluster performance, Diet debates will have no vigor.
 これでは国会論戦に緊張感は生まれまい。

On Wednesday, Abe and opposition party leaders had their first debate under the second Abe Cabinet.
 第2次安倍内閣で初めての党首討論が行われた。

Kaieda emphasized the projected side-effects of Abenomics. He said the Abe administration's massive monetary easing would hurt people, especially those living on pensions, by raising the cost of living. He also expressed concern about the government's ongoing discussions on deregulation that could pave the way to increased job cuts at companies.
 海江田氏は、経済政策「アベノミクス」による大規模な金融緩和が物価高を招き、年金生活者らが困窮するという副作用があると指摘した。政府が検討中の規制緩和に伴う企業のリストラ拡大についても懸念を示した。

Abe responded by saying that the amount of pension benefits will go up as commodity prices rise, and stressed that inflation will eventually lead to wage increases.
 首相は、物価が上がれば、年金額も連動して上がり、いずれ労働者の賃上げにも及ぶと強調した。

"We have created 40,000 jobs in the past three months, something the DPJ-led administrations never achieved," Abe said.
「この3か月で4万人の雇用を作った。民主党政権が出来なかったことだ」と切り返した。

Present counterproposals

Since the launch of the Abe administration, the excessive appreciation of the yen has been rectified, and stock prices have been hovering at high levels.
 安倍政権発足以来、超円高が是正され、株高も続いている。

If Kaieda does nothing more than harp on his concerns about Abenomics, we can never expect constructive Diet debates. We expect the DPJ president to express his own views on how to end deflation and spur growth. In other words, Kaieda should present concrete counterproposals.
 懸念を言い募るだけでは建設的な討論にならない。自分ならデフレ脱却や経済成長に向けてどんな手を打つのか、海江田氏は具体的な対策を提示すべきだろう。

It was Abe who brought up the issue of the bill to rezone electoral districts in the House of Representatives by eliminating five single-seat constituencies without adding any. It seemed the prime minister was trying to take the upper hand in debating the topic. Abe, who is seeking to pass the bill ahead of other electoral reform measures, asked for Kaieda's cooperation.
Abe said: "The public has been demanding that we rectify disparities in the value of votes. As members of the legislature, don't we have the responsibility to meet this demand?"
 安倍首相は、先手を打つように、衆院小選挙区定数の「0増5減」を実現する区割り法案に言及した。「国民の声は『1票の格差是正を進めよ』だ。立法府の一員として応える責任がある」と、先行処理への協力を求めた。

Kaieda refused to go along, saying that the main promise [between the DPJ and the LDP] on electoral system reforms was to slash the number of seats. However, we have to say his remarks totally miss the point.
 海江田氏は「定数削減が一番大きな約束だ」と主張したが、これは筋違いと言わざるを得ない。

In November, a lower house electoral reform bill to eliminate five single-seat constituencies was enacted, and we have to remind Kaieda that the DPJ agreed on passing it. However, now the party opposes the rezoning bill, which would prepare an environment for the realization of the first bill, insisting that more drastic reform is necessary. It is apparent that the ruling parties would never agree to such an unreasonable demand from the DPJ.
 民主党は昨年11月に成立した0増5減の選挙制度改革法に賛成した。それに従った区割り法案を差し置き、抜本改革を唱えても与野党が合意できる状況ではない。

The DPJ, saying that eliminating five single-seat constituencies is insufficient to rectify vote-value disparities, has submitted a bill to cut lower house seats by 30 in single-seat constituencies and 50 in proportional representation blocs. However, other opposition parties refused to go along with the DPJ's proposal.
 民主党は0増5減では格差是正が不十分として議員定数を小選挙区で30、比例選で50削減する法案を国会に出したが、他の野党は同調していないではないか。

Parties' divergent interests

The ruling parties have submitted the rezoning bill to a related lower house special committee. However, in protest of the move, the DPJ, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), Your Party, the People's Life Party and the Social Democratic Party refused to participate in Diet deliberations on Wednesday.
 民主、日本維新の会、みんな、生活、社民の野党5党は与党が区割り法案を特別委員会に付託したことに反発して17日、審議拒否した。

Such actions cannot be expected to work, and only give the impression to the public that the opposition parties are putting party interests before all else and ignoring the issue of rectifying vote-value disparities.
こうした態度は党利党略を優先し、1票の格差是正をなおざりにする姿を印象づけるだけだ。

During Wednesday's debate, Ishin no Kai coleader Shintaro Ishihara emphasized the necessity of amending the Constitution and asked Abe not to make concessions on food safety when the government joins Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks.
 党首討論で、維新の石原共同代表は憲法改正の必要性を力説し、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉では食品の安全性確保で米国に譲歩しないよう注文した。

After praising Abe's decision to join TPP talks, Your Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe urged the prime minister to proceed with civil service reforms.
 みんなの渡辺代表は、TPP交渉参加の決断を高く評価したうえで、公務員制度改革を促した。

The stance of the two parties is clearly different from that of the DPJ, which is obsessed with confronting the ruling parties. Wednesday's debate clarified the political distance between the ruling parties and each opposition party.
 対決姿勢の民主党とはスタンスの違いがうかがえる。党首討論は、与党に対する野党の距離感も浮き彫りにしたと言えよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 18, 2013)
(2013年4月18日02時04分  読売新聞)

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