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2014年4月 9日 (水)

渡辺代表辞任 8億円の使い道がまだ不明だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 6:50 pm, April 08, 2014
Watanabe must give public full explanation of ¥800 million loan
渡辺代表辞任 8億円の使い道がまだ不明だ

Yoshimi Watanabe, leader of Your Party, said Monday he would step down as head of the opposition party to take responsibility for the scandal that has arisen over ¥800 million in loans that he received.
 みんなの党の渡辺代表が、8億円の借入金問題の責任を取って辞任を表明した。

But Watanabe has yet to clear up all doubts. It is by no means reasonable to sweep all suspicions under the carpet simply because of his resignation as party head.
 だが、疑惑は払拭されていない。これで幕を引くことは、許されまい。

At a press conference Monday, Watanabe said, “I accept full responsibility for all the anxiety and the trouble I have caused through media reports on the matter.”
 渡辺氏は記者会見で、「一連の報道で心配、迷惑をかけた。責任はすべて私にある」と語った。

He was probably unable to hold out any longer against calls for his resignation and the criticism he faced both within and outside the party.
 党内外からの辞任圧力や批判に抗しきれなかったということだろう。

As he has skirted his responsibility to explain, citing his “poor physical condition,” and brought disarray to the party, his decision to step down is reasonable.
「体調不良」などを理由に、説明責任を果たさず、党の混乱を自ら招いた以上、代表辞任は当然の判断である。

Watanabe stressed he had already repaid in full the outstanding balance of the loans—roughly ¥550 million—he received from the chairman of a cosmetics company. But the matter cannot be settled by merely repaying the loans.
 渡辺氏は、未返済分の約5億5000万円を化粧品製造販売会社の会長に返したと強調したが、それで済む問題ではない。

The crux of the matter is his intent in having borrowed the money and what it was used for.
 肝心なのは、資金提供を受けた趣旨と、その使途の解明だ。

The company chairman said recently he had “lent the money [to Watanabe] as use as campaign funds” shortly before the 2010 House of Councillors election and again for the 2012 House of Representatives election.
 会社会長は、参院選と衆院選の直前に「選挙資金として貸した」と証言した。

The chairman also said that shortly before the 2012 lower house election he received an e-mail from Watanabe, asking him to extend a loan in connection with the election.
渡辺氏から衆院選直前にメールが届き、選挙情勢に絡めて融資を依頼されたとも明らかにしている。

Yet Watanabe’s income and expenditure reports on political funds and campaign expenses make no mention of the ¥800 million. If what the company chairman says is true, Watanabe may have violated the Public Offices Election Law.
 ところが、渡辺氏の選挙運動費用と政治資金の収支報告書に8億円の記載はなかった。会長の説明通りだとすれば、公職選挙法などに違反する可能性がある。

Did party head break law?

During his press conference, Watanabe said he had borrowed the money as an individual and that there was no legal issue. He also explained, “There is no system under which we are required to make an income and expenditure report concerning political activity when we engage in such activity using funds out of our own pockets.”
 これに対し、渡辺氏は辞任会見でも「個人の借り入れだ」「法的な問題はない」と主張した。「ポケットマネーを使って政治活動をしている場合、その収支については、(報告すべき)収支報告書の制度がない」とも説明した。

If this is his explanation, Watanabe should provide a clear account of how he spent the money.
 そう言うのなら、その使い道をきちんと示すべきだ。

He claimed it was spent as expenses for drawing up policies, for collecting information and for traveling to various places. This explanation is clearly short on specifics.
「政策策定や情報収集、いろいろな所に出かけるための費用」とするだけでは具体性に欠ける。

It is also extremely unreasonable that his explanations have changed so markedly from his earlier claims.
 言い分が大きく変化したのも、不可解である。

Previously, he said he used all the borrowed money, but later he said about ¥500 million was kept in his wife’s bank account. If he cannot give a reasonable account of what he spent the money on, he can only be perceived as trying to evade the issue.
これまで、借入金は使い切ったとしていたが、約5億円は「妻の口座に保管していた」と説明を変えた。使途を説明できないための言い逃れと見られても仕方ないのではないか。

When reporters asked him to explain the e-mail that the chairman cited as evidence, Watanabe said he was unable to confirm the contents of the message, as he had no record of the message. This is hardly a convincing explanation.
 会長が証拠として挙げたメールについて、渡辺氏が「記録が残っていないので確認ができない」と釈明したのも納得できない。

Enhancing the transparency surrounding money in politics is an important factor in winning people’s trust in the political process. Watanabe, however, has failed to make any such effort.
 政治とカネの問題について透明性を高めることが、国民の政治への信頼につながる。その努力を渡辺氏は怠っている。

An investigation is under way at Your Party over whether there are legal issues in Watanabe’s case, based on the bank books he has submitted. The party, for its part, must assume full accountability.
 みんなの党は、渡辺氏から銀行通帳の提供を受けて、法律上の問題がないかどうか調べている。党としても十分説明責任を果たさなければならない。

Your Party, which has been ridiculed as being a “private shop” run by Watanabe, is now facing an existential crisis.
 渡辺氏の「個人商店」と揶揄やゆされてきたみんなの党は、存亡の危機に直面している。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 8, 2014)

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