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2013年4月 1日 (月)

維新党大会 自民の対抗勢力になり得るか

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 1, 2013
Can Ishin no Kai boost its strength to eventually take on LDP?
維新党大会 自民の対抗勢力になり得るか(3月31日付・読売社説)

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) has clear aspirations to revise the Constitution.
 憲法改正への強い意欲はうかがえた。

Is there any prospect of Ishin no Kai becoming a conservative party large enough to be a formidable rival to the Liberal Democratic Party?
自民党に対抗し得る保守政党に成長できるだろうか。

On Saturday, Ishin no Kai held the first convention in Osaka since its inauguration last September, adopting a party platform and endorsing an action policy for 2013.
 日本維新の会が、昨年9月の結党後初めての党大会を大阪市で開き、党綱領や2013年活動方針を決定した。

The platform says the existing Constitution is an "occupation constitution forced on [Japan by the United States] to make the Japanese people believe in the unrealistic idea of absolute pacifism, thereby thrusting the nation into isolation and making it the object of disdain [in the eyes of the international community]."
 綱領は現行憲法について「日本を孤立と軽蔑の対象に貶(おとし)め、絶対平和という非現実的な共同幻想を押し付けた占領憲法」と指摘した。

It pledged to drastically revise the Constitution "to help resuscitate the country."
憲法を大幅に改正して、「国家を蘇生させる」とうたっている。

At the convention, party coleader Toru Hashimoto, who also serves as mayor of Osaka, emphasized the significance of revising the Constitution by saying, "Japan must rise to the important challenge of remolding the Constitution with its own hands."
 共同代表の橋下大阪市長は「自分たちの手で憲法を作ることが日本にとって絶対に重要だ」と改正の意義を強調した。

Constitutional revision

Hashimoto said Ishin no Kai would seek as many seats as possible in the House of Councillors election this summer to ensure that the party, the LDP and minor opposition Your Party have a combined two-thirds majority, so they would be able to initiate constitutional amendments.
参院選では、自民党、みんなの党などと合わせて憲法改正の発議に必要な3分の2の議席を目指すとも語った。

Depending on the outcome of the upper house election, a political landscape may emerge allowing the Constitution to be revised for the first time since its promulgation.
 参院選の結果次第で、初めて憲法改正が可能な政治環境が整う。

Hashimoto's speech can be interpreted as indicating his party would work with the LDP under these circumstances.
その場合、維新の会は自民党と連携する方針を明示したと言える。

One of the major issues in the upper house race will be whether to revise the Constitution.
憲法改正は、参院選の最も大きな争点の一つになる。

Apparently based on some soul-searching after its failure to increase its House of Representatives seats as initially expected in the general election in December, Ishin no Kai has taken steps to cooperate in the upper house election with Your Party, which also wants to revise the supreme law. How many seats the two parties can win in the upper chamber will hinge on the effectiveness of their cooperation in the specifics of their electoral campaigns.
 維新の会は、衆院選で当初の期待ほど議席を伸ばせなかった反省を踏まえ、憲法改正でも一致できるみんなの党との選挙協力を進めている。実質的な協力に踏み込めるかが獲得議席を左右しよう。

In his speech, Hashimoto said his party would support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture and negotiations for Japan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade talks.
 党大会で橋下氏は、米軍普天間飛行場移設問題や環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉に取り組む安倍首相を応援すると述べた。

On the other hand, Hashimoto stressed his goal of preventing the LDP and New Komeito from taking a majority of seats in the upper house. He argued that Ishin no Kai was the only party that could rise to the political challenges of eliminating vested interests and reorganizing the nation's government machinery.
 その一方で、参院選では「自民、公明両党の過半数阻止を実現しよう」と訴え、既得権打破や統治機構の変革は、維新の会にしかできないと強調した。

With some critics saying Ishin no Kai is no better than "an LDP auxiliary force," what can it do to prove it is different from the LDP as a party dedicated to reform?
 「維新は自民党の補完勢力」との批判もある中、自民党と違いを出し、改革の党としての存在感をどう発揮するのだろうか。
 
According to a survey by The Yomiuri Shimbun, the support rate for Ishin no Kai, which stood at the same level as the Democratic Party of Japan at 8 percent immediately after the inauguration of the Abe Cabinet, has now plunged to as low as 2 percent.
 読売新聞の世論調査では、安倍政権の発足直後、民主党と並んで8%あった維新の会の支持率は2%にまで低下している。

Difference in views

Among its problems, Ishin no Kai has to grapple with the disparate views between Hashimoto and his party's Diet members in Tokyo on such issues as a desirable future electoral system and how the party should deal with Diet affairs in connection with the Bank of Japan's executive appointments requiring the consent of the legislature.
 維新の会の課題には、橋下氏と、東京の国会議員団との間で、選挙制度や日銀同意人事など軋轢(あつれき)が表面化していることもある。

Coordination between the party headquarters in Osaka and the Tokyo-based group of Ishin no Kai legislators has begun through such means as teleconferences. To become a party with a sense of unity, it is imperative for Ishin no Kai to end the schism between the two.
 大阪市の党本部と東京の国会議員団本部をテレビ会議システムでつなぐなど、連携強化の模索が始まっている。両者の溝を埋めていくことは、維新の会が一体感をもった政党になるために必要だ。

The other coleader of the party, former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, meanwhile, was absent from the convention because of a "slight stroke." He took part in the gathering via an online live broadcast from Tokyo. Hashimoto did not respond to Ishihara's suggestion that he run in the upcoming upper house election.
 一方、石原共同代表は「軽い脳梗塞」のため、党大会を欠席した。ネット中継の形で参加し、橋下氏に参院選への出馬を促したが、橋下氏は応えなかった。

Whether Hashimoto will decide to run in the election seems to depend on whether the party can ramp up its strength.
 橋下氏が参院選に出馬するか否かは、今後の党勢もにらんでの判断になるに違いない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 31, 2013)
(2013年3月31日01時43分  読売新聞)

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