« 教育委員会改革 責任の明確化で機能強化図れ | トップページ | 被災地の医療 避難者の健康守る体制拡充を »

2014年3月 2日 (日)

予算案衆院通過 気を緩めず懸案に取り組め

The Yomiuri Shimbun March 02, 2014
Pending issues must be strenuously tackled after FY14 budget passes Diet
予算案衆院通過 気を緩めず懸案に取り組め(3月1日付・読売社説)

The fiscal 2014 budget is certain to gain Diet approval by the end of the current fiscal year on March 31 now that the House of Representatives passed it Friday with support mainly from the ruling parties. Although the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has not experienced any hiccups in its management of Diet affairs, it faces myriad challenges. Now is no time for the administration to breathe a sigh of relief.

Next fiscal year’s budget of more than ¥95 trillion constitutes a major part of the so-called 15-month budget, which includes the fiscal 2013 supplementary budget.

It is crucial to seamlessly execute the budget to prevent an increase in the consumption tax rate in April from putting a damper on the nation’s economy.

For Abenomics, the Abe administration’s economic policies, to realize tangible results, it is essential to steadily implement the administration’s growth strategy aimed at bringing out the latent vigor of the private sector.

It is hoped the Diet will expedite the approval of the nuclear accords with Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, which will make it possible for Japan to export nuclear power plants to the countries, as well as bills related to the growth strategy, including revisions to the Electricity Business Law.

The ruling parties retook control of the House of Councillors, eliminating the division in the Diet, and they have more than two-thirds of the seats in the House of Representatives. Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party plan to cooperate with the Abe administration on a policy-by-policy basis. Such a power landscape in the Diet undoubtedly paved the way for the ruling parties to orchestrate smooth budget deliberations.

At the forefront of Diet deliberations is the issue of revising the government’s constitutional interpretation to enable the nation to exercise its right to collective self-defense—an agenda that has already ignited parliamentary debate.

“The government is obliged to answer questions in the Diet if it wants to clarify the government's views on the issue before [such revisions] are endorsed at a Cabinet meeting,” Abe has said at a lower house Budget Committee meeting, referring to the administration’s move to change the constitutional interpretation. His remarks were apparently made in consideration of New Komeito and opposition parties that say Diet deliberation is necessary before the government decides on a new interpretation.

Govt must explain stance

The government must not spare any effort to explain why it is significant to enable the country to exercise its right to collective self-defense and present specific examples of cases when the right would be exercised.

The behavior of the Democratic Party of Japan is incomprehensible. As its party stance, the DPJ has decided to oppose any change in the interpretation being pushed by the Abe administration, but it said it opposes only the way the administration is handling the issue, which it says is aimed at bringing about “constitutional revision” by changing its interpretation. The DPJ has not stated whether or not it will oppose the exercise of the right.

Having taken the reins of the government once, the DPJ might have realized how harsh Japan’s security environment is. But it is irresponsible for it not to decide on its stance on important issues and, instead, kept postponing such crucial decisions.

Another important item on the agenda of the current Diet session is to establish the minimum voting age in the National Referendum Law, which stipulates the procedures for constitutional revisions.

Under the law, the voting age is stipulated as “18 years old or older,” but an addendum requires the consideration of lowering the age of adulthood to “18 years old” from the current 20 years before the minimum voting age is set.

As it is difficult to reach a consensus on this issue, the ruling parties have compiled a bill to revise the National Referendum Law to set the minimum voting age to 20 years old for four years after the law comes into force and to 18 years after that period ends.

Ishin no Kai has supported the ruling parties’ stance. It should seek common ground with the DPJ and other opposition parties as soon as possible.

We expect the current Diet session to settle issues that have been pending for many years one by one.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 1, 2014)
(2014年3月1日01時31分  読売新聞)


« 教育委員会改革 責任の明確化で機能強化図れ | トップページ | 被災地の医療 避難者の健康守る体制拡充を »





« 教育委員会改革 責任の明確化で機能強化図れ | トップページ | 被災地の医療 避難者の健康守る体制拡充を »