« 米情報機関改革 「盗聴」で問われた監視体制 | トップページ | シリア国際会議 和平への道筋は見えてくるか »

2014年1月25日 (土)

都知事選告示 東京の課題を幅広く論じよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun January 24, 2014
Tokyo gubernatorial candidates must debate wide range of policies
都知事選告示 東京の課題を幅広く論じよ(1月24日付・読売社説)

Campaigning has officially started for the Tokyo gubernatorial election. The capital faces a mountain of challenges, and candidates in the election are urged to actively engage in policy debates up to the polling day, Feb. 9.

Among the major candidates in the Tokyo race are former Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe, supported by the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito; former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa; former Japan Federation of Bar Associations President Kenji Utsunomiya, who is recommended by the Japanese Communist Party and Social Democratic Party; and former Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami.

The issue of nuclear power plants has emerged as a key focal point in the Tokyo contest. Hosokawa, whose decision to run was spurred by former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s encouragement, has drawn a great deal of attention, as he is committed to pursuing an immediate end to the use of nuclear power together with Koizumi. Utsunomiya has likewise made the elimination of nuclear power generation one of his major campaign promises.

Masuzoe, for his part, has pledged to build a society that is not dependent on nuclear energy on a mid- and long-term basis.

It may be meaningful, at least to some degree, that energy problems are being taken up as a subject of discussion in Tokyo, an area known as a mammoth consumer of power.

A proposal calling for a move away from nuclear power, however, should be deemed unrealistic and irresponsible if it fails to be accompanied by specific, convincing measures to ensure a stable, low-cost supply of electricity. We hope to see what the candidates favoring elimination of nuclear power generation have to say about the adverse impact of such a policy on the national economy, household budgets and the environment, due to a sharp rise in thermal power generation.

Given that the decision on the abolition or continuation of the country’s nuclear power plants is beyond the authority of the Tokyo governor, we wonder how the anti-nuclear power candidates specifically plan to push ahead with their policies of doing away with nuclear power generation.

Clarify policy specifics

As the upcoming Tokyo gubernatorial election follows the resignation of Naoki Inose as governor last month over his dubious receipt of ¥50 million in cash from scandal-tainted hospital operator Tokushukai, the candidates may inevitably find themselves unable to shy away from problems of money and politics.

Hosokawa, who resigned as prime minister 20 years ago to take responsibility for secretly borrowing ¥100 million from Tokyo Sagawa Kyubin, a major trucking company, has been stressing that he has finished repaying the loan. However, it seems he should be required to offer a more detailed explanation of what the money was for.

The new Tokyo governor will undertake the responsibility of smoothly preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Hosokawa earlier insisted that Tokyo should have bowed out of hosting the Games, but has changed his position. He is now calling for a review of “excessive construction plans.” Masuzoe, in contrast, says he wants to make the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics one of the greatest events in history.

How to address the problem of Tokyo’s aging population and persistently low birth rate is another important issue. In 2020, about one of every four metropolitan residents is projected to be aged 65 or older, and Tokyo’s total fertility rate is one of the lowest among all regions of the country.

Masuzoe has promised to enhance the quality of Tokyo’s social welfare systems by leveraging his experience as health, labor and welfare minister.

How should Tokyo’s limited revenue sources be used to improve medical and nursing care services and boost child-rearing support measures? Every candidate in the Tokyo race must exercise his ingenuity in a battle of ideas.

Regarding safety precautions for a massive earthquake, namely what is called an epicentral temblor with its focus just below the metropolis, the candidates are urged to come up with realistic, concrete measures. Boosting fire-resistance in areas densely packed with wooden houses is an especially urgent challenge that Tokyo must face.

Voters must carefully consider which candidates are competent enough to steadily implement policies by building a relationship of trust with the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 24, 2014)
(2014年1月24日01時27分  読売新聞)


« 米情報機関改革 「盗聴」で問われた監視体制 | トップページ | シリア国際会議 和平への道筋は見えてくるか »





« 米情報機関改革 「盗聴」で問われた監視体制 | トップページ | シリア国際会議 和平への道筋は見えてくるか »