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2013年8月 4日 (日)

輿石参院副議長 反省踏まえて国会改革進めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 4, 2013
Diet must be made more efficient with reforms based on experience
輿石参院副議長 反省踏まえて国会改革進めよ(8月3日付・読売社説)

Ruling and opposition parties should take advantage of the end to the divided Diet to embark on Diet reform to enhance the substance and efficiency of deliberations.
 衆参のねじれが解消されたのを機に、与野党は審議の充実と効率化を図るための国会改革に乗り出すべきだ。

An extraordinary Diet session was convened Friday, the first parliamentary session held after the July 21 House of Councillors election. Masaaki Yamazaki of the Liberal Democratic Party, which became the biggest party in the upper house following the election, and Azuma Koshiishi of the Democratic Party of Japan, which saw its strength in the chamber fall behind that of the LDP, were elected president and vice president of the chamber, respectively.
 参院選後初めての臨時国会が召集された。参院は、第1党となった自民党の山崎正昭氏を議長、第2党の民主党から輿石東氏を副議長に選んだ。

In consultations before the election, the LDP was relectant to install Koshiishi as vice president in view of the fact that he had played a pivotal role when the DPJ hampered the LDP-led government by dint of its numerical superiority in the upper house.
 事前調整の段階で、自民党は輿石氏の副議長就任に難色を示した。かつて民主党が、参院第1党の数の力で、自民党政権を揺さぶった際、中心的な役割を果たしたのが輿石氏だったからだ。

Koshiishi reportedly said, “I’ll reflect on what should be reflected on.” It was inevitable that the LDP appreciated his remarks and accepted the DPJ’s bid to install him as vice president.
 輿石氏は「反省すべき点は反省」すると語ったという。自民党がこれを評価し、副議長就任を容認したのはやむを得まい。

The installation of Koshiishi, who had been regarded as a symbol of the divided Diet, as vice president should be used as a chance to end futile confrontations between the ruling and opposition parties.
 ねじれの象徴ともみられた輿石氏の副議長就任を、不毛な与野党対立を終わらせる契機としなければならない。

We call for both camps to work out rules to deal with situations in which different deicisons are made by the two Diet chambers.
 取り組んでもらいたいのは、再びねじれが生じ、衆参の議決が異なった場合に、いかに問題を解決するかというルール作りだ。

The management of a joint committee of both houses, which has become dysfunctional, needs to be reexamined.
 機能不全に陥っている両院協議会の運営を見直す必要がある。

As for personnel appointments requiring approval by both chambers, there is room for improvement, such as narrowing the range of personnel matters that require bicameral endorsement.
 衆参両院の賛同を要する国会同意人事についても、その対象とする人事案件を絞り込むなど、改善を図る余地がある。

Rules should be changed

There are many rules and customs concerning Diet management that should be rectified.
 このほかにも、改めるべき国会運営のルールや慣例は多い。

It has long been pointed out that the prime minister and cabinet ministers are excessively occupied with Diet deliberations, adversely affecting their diplomatic and internal political activities.
 首相や閣僚が国会審議に縛られ、外交や内政に支障を来していると長年、指摘されている。

It is also necessary to reconsider the conventional practice of holding question-and-answer sessions with the prime minister and all cabinet ministers in attendance when the government’s budget is discussed at the House of Representatives Budget Committee. Some of the ministers have almost no chance to answer questions. Obviously, this is one of the negative results of formalism.
 政府の予算案は衆院予算委員会で、首相と全閣僚が出席して基本的質疑を行うという慣例も再考すべきだろう。答弁機会がほとんどない閣僚もいる。形式主義の弊害であることは明らかだ。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) insists, “[Rules on] Diet management should be changed to enable the prime minister to go overseas for up to 100 days a year.” To this end, the party proposes that debate sessions with opposition party leaders be used as the principal opportunity for the prime minister to answer opposition questions. It also calls for introducing a system that would allow senior vice ministers to answer questions on behalf of the prime minister and cabinet ministers.
 日本維新の会は「首相が年間100日、海外に行ける国会運営」を主張する。その方策として、首相との質疑は党首討論を主に活用し、首相や閣僚に代わって副大臣が積極的に答弁できる制度を導入するよう提案している。

Utilization of senior vice ministers for such purposes could lessen the burdens of the prime minister and cabinet members. The DPJ made a similar contention when it took office, so agreement on this issue can be hammered out by the ruling and oppositon parties.
 副大臣を活用すれば、首相や閣僚の負担は軽減されよう。政権を担当していた当時の民主党も同様の主張をしていた。与野党で合意できるのではないか。

Under current practices, opposition parties ask the government to explain many government-proposed bills in plenary Diet sessions, delaying the start of substantial discussions in Diet committees. Diet business must be managed more efficiently.
 政府提出法案の多くは、野党が本会議での趣旨説明を要求するため、実質的な委員会審議に入るまでに時間がかかる。もっと効率的な運営であるべきだ。

Many parties have experience in both ruling and oppositon roles through several government changes in the past and can be assumed to know sufficiently where problems lie. The parties are urged to formulate new rules on Diet management unconstrained by past practices.
 幾度かの政権交代を経て、多くの政党が、与党、野党双方の立場を経験した。問題の所在は十分、分かっていよう。慣例にとらわれず、新しい国会のルールづくりに取り組んでもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 3, 2013)
(2013年8月3日01時49分  読売新聞)

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