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2014年3月 8日 (土)

閣議議事録公開 行政の透明性を高める一歩に

The Yomiuri Shimbun March 07, 2014 Disclosure of cabinet minutes a major step toward transparency 閣議議事録公開 行政の透明性を高める一歩に(3月7日付・読売社説) The government is set to take a step forward in its information disclosures to the public.  政府の情報公開が一歩前進する。 This should serve as leverage to further enhance transparency in the operation of the administration. 行政の透明性を一層高めていく契機にすべきである。 The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to create minutes of cabinet meetings as well as consultative discussions among ministers—free-form discussions customarily held subsequent to decision-making cabinet meetings and in which all cabinet members take part—starting from April. The minutes will be posted on the website of the Prime Minister’s Office about three weeks after the meetings, according to the cabinet decision. Abe has emphasized that this will be the first such action in the history of Japan’s constitutional politics.  安倍内閣は4月から、閣議と閣僚懇談会の議事録を作成し、3週間後をメドに首相官邸のホームページに掲載することを決めた。安倍首相は、憲政史上初めての取り組みであることを強調した。 Minutes from these meetings have not been created and published since the birth of the nation’s cabinet system in 1885, during the Meiji era (1868-1912). Successive historical governments have pointed to the significance of cabinet meetings, in which affairs involving weighty state secrets and those with highly political implications are discussed, as the primary reason minutes have not been kept.  閣議の議事録は、明治の内閣制度発足以降、作られてこなかった。「重大な国家機密や高度に政治性を有する事柄」が議論されることなどを理由に挙げてきた。 It is obviously necessary for the government to disclose the processes of its policy decision-making to fulfill its duty of accountability to the public. Taking records and publicizing proceedings of cabinet meetings are unmistakably of high importance.  だが、政策の決定過程を明らかにし、国民への説明責任を果たす必要がある。政府の重要な意思決定を行う閣議の議事を記録し、公開する意義は大きい。 In general, the chief cabinet secretary and individual ministers have offered outlines of cabinet meetings and explained consultative discussions among cabinet members at news conferences. Particularly in the case of consultation discussions, which act as a venue for free exchanges of opinion rather than decision-making forums, there have often been contradicting reports on the specifics of what different ministers said.  これまでも官房長官や各閣僚が閣議や閣僚懇談会の概要を記者会見で説明してきたが、特に自由な発言の場である閣僚懇談会については、その内容が食い違うことも少なくなかった。 It is essential to record accurately, in the form of public documents, the contents of discussions among ministers, including those involving the subtleties of steering the government, to ensure a reliable system that provides sufficient verifiability to future generations.  機微に触れるやり取りも含めて正確な内容を公式の文書として残し、後世の検証に堪える体制を整えることが肝要である。 Dispel cover-up anxieties However, the problem is how much detail should be made public in the minutes. Cabinet members must not be made reluctant to lead frank discussions of affairs involving confidentiality, such as diplomacy and national security, for fear of their remarks being made public.  課題は、議事録をどう公開するかである。公開が前提になるため、閣僚が外交・安全保障などとかかわる機密事項を議論できなくなるのでは、本末転倒だろう。 Holding back contents involving state secrets from publication in the minutes is inevitable. However, a set of rules should be put in place to mandate government disclosure of such secret-linked discussions after a certain period of time has lapsed. Revisions to the Public Records and Archives Management Law to address this should be considered.  議事録の中で、機密にかかわる内容は非公開とするのはやむを得まい。だが、一定期間後の開示をルール化すべきだ。公文書管理法などの改正も検討課題になる。 December saw the passage of the law on protecting specially designated state secrets, which brought a wave of protest from people who felt great concern over the possibility of the government covering up pieces of information inconvenient to it. It is critical for the government to demonstrate its stance and show that such criticism is off the mark, by taking a proactive attitude toward information disclosure.  特定秘密保護法を巡っては、政府が都合の悪い情報を隠蔽するのではないかという見方も強かった。積極的な情報開示で、そうした批判は当たらないという姿勢を示すことが重要だ。 Minutes from such key government meetings as the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy have already been made public on relevant websites and other outlets. Clarifying the process of discussions at these meetings has helped develop public understanding about the affairs concerned.  すでに経済財政諮問会議など重要な会議の議事録がホームページなどで公開されている。議論の経過を明らかにすることが、国民の理解促進にも役立っている。 In addition, the government should also study the wisdom of appropriately publishing information concerning other important meetings, including the Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council.  政府は、国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)など閣僚が参加する他の重要な会議についても、適切な情報公開を検討すべきだ。 The Great East Japan Earthquake three years ago prompted the government to tackle the disclosure of minutes for cabinet meetings and other related functions. Administrations led by the Democratic Party of Japan, which was in power at the time of the the catastrophe, showed little consciousness of the need to establish records and failed to take minutes at a large number of government meetings. As a result, a full and appropriate review and verification of measures taken by the government in response to the earthquake and tsunami-triggered crisis was made impossible.  議事録公開の取り組みは、3年前の東日本大震災がきっかけだった。民主党政権は記録作成の意識に乏しく、多くの会議の議事録を作らなかった。そのため、震災対応の検証が十分できなかった。 Some analysts have said the failure to keep records of disaster-linked discussions was due in part to the DPJ-led government’s deliberate exclusion of bureaucrats from the decision-making process, in keeping with its slogan of conducting “politician-led government” in policy formulation.  「政治主導」の名目で、政策決定の場から、官僚を排除したことも一因だったとの指摘がある。 A political culture in which policy decision-making processes are adequately documented and the associated locus of responsibility is clarified should be made to take root in this country.  政策決定過程を記録に残し、責任の所在も明らかにする。そうした政治文化を根付かせたい。 (From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 7, 2014) (2014年3月7日01時23分 読売新聞)

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