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2013年10月 2日 (水)

堺市長選敗北 存立基盤が揺らいだ維新の会

The Yomiuri Shimbun October 2, 2013
Will Ishin no Kai be able to rebound after Sakai mayoral election defeat?
堺市長選敗北 存立基盤が揺らいだ維新の会(10月1日付・読売社説)

For Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who is also a coleader of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), Sunday’s mayoral election in Sakai has turned out to be painful indeed.
 日本維新の会の共同代表を務める橋下徹大阪市長にとっては、手痛い結果である。

The major point of contention in the election was whether or not to support a plan to create a so-called Osaka-to—a metropolitan administrative entity similar to Tokyo—as advocated by Hashimoto. In the election, first-time challenger Katsutoshi Nishibayashi, who ran on the ticket of Osaka Ishin no Kai—a regional political group led by Hashimoto—was defeated by incumbent Mayor Osami Takeyama, who opposes the plan.
 「大阪都」構想の是非が大きな争点となった堺市長選で、橋下氏率いる地域政党・大阪維新の会公認の新人候補が、構想に反対する現職の竹山修身氏に敗れた。

This was the first defeat in a mayoral or gubernatorial election in the prefecture for a candidate supported by Osaka Ishin no Kai since the group was formed in 2010. The myth that Osaka Ishin no Kai always wins elections in Osaka Prefecture has been shattered. The waning political power of Ishin no Kai, which did not fare as well as expected in July’s House of Councillors election, has become more apparent.
 大阪維新の会に支援を受けた首長選候補が大阪府内で落選したのは、2010年の結党以来初めてだ。大阪での“常勝神話”が崩壊したと言える。7月の参院選で伸び悩んだ維新の会の退潮傾向が、一段と鮮明になった。

The plan championed by Hashimoto calls for abolishing the administrative structures of the cities of Osaka and Sakai—both ordinance-designated major cities—dividing them into special wards and integrating the wards with the Osaka prefectural government to create the Osaka metropolitan entity.
 橋下氏の掲げる大阪都構想は、政令市の大阪、堺両市を廃止して特別区に分割し、大阪府と統合するものだ。

With the defeat in the Sakai mayoral election, it has become certain that Hashimoto can no longer count on Sakai to take part in the plan.
だが、堺市長選の敗北によって、堺市の参加が見込めなくなったのは確かである。

Asked why his party’s candidate was defeated, Hashimoto said there had been criticisms of his political methods and that he failed to adequately explain to voters the plan to create Osaka-to.
 橋下氏は、敗因に関して、自らの政治手法に対する批判や都構想を有権者に十分説明できなかったことを挙げている。

Fears of losing autonomy

Speaking of the Osaka-to plan during the election campaign, Takeyama repeatedly said, “Sakai will be deprived of its autonomy and our districts will break up.” Such an appeal must have resonated with many voters in Sakai, which is noted for having formed an autonomous city in bygone days through foreign trade, while thriving as a regional center in economy and culture.
 選挙戦で竹山氏は、都構想で「堺の自治が奪われ、地域がバラバラになる」と繰り返した。海外交易を通じて自治都市を形成し、経済、文化の拠点にもなった歴史のある堺市の有権者に、そんな訴えが響いたに違いない。

Ishin no Kai had sought to win voters’ support of the plan by saying that it would eliminate the evil effects of “dual administration” by the government of Osaka Prefecture and that of the ordinance-designated city. In Sakai, however, this was not a major concern. Most of the voters might not see any merits in the plan.
 維新の会は、府と政令市の「二重行政」の弊害を解消できるとして都構想に理解を求めてきたが、堺市ではそれほど二重行政が問題になってはいない。有権者の多くは、都構想のメリットに共感できなかったのではないか。

According to the plan, a local referendum is scheduled for autumn next year in the city of Osaka. As in Sakai, people in Osaka may become more concerned over the possible breakup of their districts through the rezoning of existing wards.
 都構想では、14年秋に大阪市の住民投票が予定されている。今後、大阪市でも区割りによって地域が分断されることに、市民の懸念が広がりかねない。

It is hard to tell whether Hashimoto will be able to win a majority of the votes in the Osaka referendum, which is required for the plan.
 橋下氏が住民投票で必要な過半数の支持を得られるかどうか、予断を許さないだろう。

Although he admitted he was responsible for the latest defeat, he ruled out the possibility of resigning as coleader of Ishin no Kai, indicating his intention to remain active in both local and national politics.
 橋下氏は、敗北の責任は認めながらも、共同代表の辞任は否定した。地方政治と国政の二足のわらじをはき続ける考えだ。

Hashimoto advocates the idea of reorganizing the opposition parties, with an eye to the creation of a political force that can compete with the ruling parties of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito in the next House of Representatives election.
 橋下氏は、野党再編を唱えている。次期衆院選に向けて、自民、公明両党に対抗できる勢力の形成を考えている。

On the other hand, Ishin no Kai can be a potential partner with the administration under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in pursuing the Diet reform and constitutional amendments.
 一方で、安倍政権にとって維新の会は、国会改革や憲法改正を進めるうえで、連携相手となり得る存在である。

The shaking of Ishin no Kai’s foundation in its home territory of Osaka casts a shadow on its political clout in national politics. We can even detect such a sense of crisis in Hashimoto, who has indicated his intention to concentrate on pursuing his pet plan.
 地元大阪での存立基盤が揺らいでいては国政に対する維新の会の影響力に陰りが生じる。都構想に集中する意向を示す橋下氏には、そんな危機感もうかがえる。

Will Hashimoto and Ishin no Kai ever be able to recover?
 橋下氏と維新の会は、果たして巻き返せるだろうか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 1, 2013)
(2013年10月1日01時33分  読売新聞)

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