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2013年6月27日 (木)

民主参院選公約 この政策では説得力に欠ける

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 27, 2013
DPJ manifesto for upper house election campaign far too vague
民主参院選公約 この政策では説得力に欠ける(6月26日付・読売社説)

The policy goals in the Democratic Party of Japan’s new electoral campaign pledges seem to be too passive. The new manifesto’s policy measures are just too abstract. This is because the opposition party lacks self-confidence in advancing specific policies after learning a bitter lesson from its failure to achieve unrealistic numerical targets in the past.
 非現実的な数値目標の失敗に懲りて、臆病になりすぎたのか、政策が抽象的で、「攻め」の姿勢があまりに乏しい。

On Tuesday, the DPJ unveiled its manifesto for the upcoming House of Councillors election, professing that it would “help people protect their livelihood.” The election pledges cite seven priority areas, including economic well-being and social security. They also emphasize the party’s determination to support women, extend child-rearing assistance and provide better education programs.
 民主党が参院選公約を発表した。「暮らしを守る力になる」をキャッチフレーズに掲げ、くらし(経済)、いのち(社会保障)、みらい(女性・子育て・教育)など、7項目の重点政策を示している。

In presenting the opposition party’s economic policy, the new manifesto took a moderate approach in criticizing the economic management of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration. It only expressed concern about the adverse effects of Abenomics, saying Abe’s policy package will increase prices and cause violent fluctuations in interest rates, for instance. The election pledge contrasts with the party’s draft of a new manifesto, which was strongly critical about the harmful effects of Abe’s economic policy. This indicates the opposition party has become ambiguous about where its economic policy differs from the Abenomics package.
 経済政策について、公約は、安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」に関し、物価上昇、金利乱高下などの副作用に懸念を示すにとどめた。草案段階では、副作用への批判をより強く打ち出していたが、争点があいまいになった。

Meaningful debates unlikely

The lack of specifics in the DPJ manifesto is also evident in the party’s own measures for the most essential part of political management--tax, fiscal and financial policies, and growth strategy. The election pledge incorporates few specific plans that rival those advanced by the Abe government. Therefore, the DPJ cannot be expected to hold meaningful debates with the government over economic, fiscal and other crucial issues.
 最も肝心な税財政・金融政策と成長戦略に関する民主党の対案もほとんど盛り込まれていない。これでは経済論争が深まらない。

With respect to nuclear power generation, the new manifesto remains unchanged from the party’s policy pledge for the 2012 House of Representatives election. It states that measures must be taken to ensure no nuclear power plant is in operation “by the end of the 2030s.” However, the DPJ manifesto does not include a road map to achieve that target or measures to secure alternative energy sources.
 原発について、2012年衆院選の政権公約と同様、「30年代の稼働ゼロ」を明記したが、代替エネルギーの確保策など、目標を実現する道筋は示せていない。

This is also true with regard to the party’s social security policy. The manifesto’s social security plan is much the same as the party’s current programs, which are designed to create a system by which citizens would be paid minimum guaranteed pension benefits, with the cost covered entirely by taxpayers’ money. This would be combined with a plan to integrate all public pension plans.
 社会保障も、全額公費による最低保障年金の創設、年金一元化など従来案の再掲にとどまった。

In its policy pledges for the 2009 lower house election, the DPJ said its minimum guaranteed pension scheme would pay “70,000 yen per person monthly.” However, the party’s 2012 manifesto did not give a figure, after its target was found to be unattainable. The new manifesto does not mention an amount, either.
 09年政権公約は最低保障年金を「月額7万円」としたが、財源不足で実現不可能なことが露呈したため、12年政権公約では金額を削り、今回も踏襲した。

Admittedly, the DPJ has reason to omit impractical numerical goals from its election pledge. Still, the opposition party must realize it will never be able to regain its public trust if it only showcases a set of abstract policy measures.
 不可能な数値目標を除外するのは当然としても、具体性を欠く政策を並べるだけでは、有権者の信頼を取り戻せるはずがない。

The DPJ must give serious thought to why it was unable to deliver on its earlier promises, a task that must be complemented by efforts to change its policy measures into practical ones that the public can relate to. The party must overcome these hurdles before holding policy debates with the ruling parties. If it fails to do so, the DPJ will find it difficult to use the upper house election as an opportunity to improve its situation and squarely confront the ruling camp.
 過去の公約の失敗を反省し、財源面も含め、説得力を持つ政策に練り直すべきだ。そのハードルを克服し、与党に論争を挑まなければ、参院選を反転攻勢の機会にすることは難しいだろう。

The new manifesto is reasonable in regard to foreign and defense issues. It emphasizes the DPJ’s determination to steadfastly defend this nation’s territorial integrity by taking advantage of its alliance with the United States as the basis of its foreign policy. Nevertheless, the DPJ’s election pledge appears to be less specific about what actually must be done. It contains fewer explanations than a similar document prepared by the Liberal Democratic Party on how to deepen the bilateral alliance and protect the country’s territory.
 外交・防衛では、日米同盟を基軸とし、領土・領海を断固守る姿勢を強調している。総論に問題はないが、自民党と比べると、同盟深化や領土防衛の各論の記述が少なく、踏み込み不足が目立つ。

Status quo on Constitution

Another important matter addressed by the manifesto is a proposal to revise Article 96 of the Constitution ahead of an attempt to change other provisions in the supreme law. The article in question requires the approval of two-thirds or more of legislators in both chambers of the Diet for initiating amendments to the Constitution.
However, the DPJ manifesto opposes the proposal, saying the two-thirds majority rule is reasonable. It also insists on “conceiving a future-oriented Constitution” by promoting “dialogue with the public” on the nation’s top law.
 憲法では、改正の発議要件を衆参各院の3分の2以上とする96条は合理性があるとして、96条の先行改正に反対した。国民と「憲法対話」を進め、「未来志向の憲法を構想する」とも主張した。

This shows that the DPJ remains unchanged in trying to deal with a conflict of opinions among party members by producing vaguely worded documents acceptable to rival groups. This is also noticeable in the language used in the new manifesto regarding the Article 96 issue. The election pledge has been phrased in a manner that offends neither pro-amendment party members nor those cautious or negative about such reform.
 党内の改正推進派と慎重・反対派の双方に配慮した結果、玉虫色の表現に落ち着く、という相変わらずのパターンだ。

The DPJ lags other parties in addressing constitutional reform. Other parties have already disclosed their versions of how the Constitution should be amended.
既に具体的な改正内容を示している他党よりも2、3周遅れの状況にある。

Indications are that, after the upper house election, the controversy over constitutional reform will become a major bone of contention in political circles. The DPJ should expedite an internal consensus about constitutional change, with a view to putting together its own draft of a new constitution.
 参院選後には、憲法改正問題が大きな焦点となる。民主党も、独自の改正案をまとめる方向で意見集約を急ぐべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 26, 2013)
(2013年6月26日01時15分  読売新聞)

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