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2014年4月 6日 (日)

渡辺氏の8億円 「策略」とは論点のすり替えだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 05, 2014
Transparency essential to determine how politicians make use of money
渡辺氏の8億円 「策略」とは論点のすり替えだ

We wonder if he is not aware of his duties as the leader of a publicly declared political party. Yes, we are talking about Your Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe, whose unyielding attitude can be taken as a sign of skirting responsibility over his borrowing of ¥800 million.
 公党の党首としての自覚を欠いているのではないか。8億円の借入金問題で責任逃れのような態度を続ける、みんなの党の渡辺代表のことだ。

Watanabe borrowed ¥300 million just before the 2010 House of Councillors election and ¥500 million just before the 2012 House of Representatives election from the chairman of a cosmetics company. Amid growing suspicions about the purpose for which he borrowed the money, he has not been to the Diet, citing health problems, and refused to give explanations about the loans.
 化粧品製造販売会社の会長から参院選直前に3億円、衆院選の直前に5億円を借り、使途に疑惑が持たれていながら、「体調不良」を理由に国会にも姿を見せず、説明を拒んでいる。

In a document he submitted to Your Party, Watanabe said a “power struggle” is at the crux of the matter, asserting it was a ploy by Kenji Eda, who broke with the party to form Yui no To. It is hard to understand why he is making such a claim.
 渡辺氏が党に提出した文書で「問題の本質は権力闘争だ」と指摘し、離党した江田憲司・結いの党代表による「策略」だと主張していることも理解しがたい。

His stance of distorting the essence of the problem and conveniently changing the subject is simply dishonorable.
 問題を歪曲わいきょくし、論点をすり替えようとする姿勢は見苦しい。

At a press conference he held on March 27, Watanabe explained he used part of the money for conferences and travel expenses, not for funding election campaigns or political activities. “I bought a big kumade [good luck charm] at Tori no Ichi [an open-air market in Asakusa, Tokyo,]” he said.
 渡辺氏は、3月27日の記者会見で、借入金は選挙資金や政治資金に使わず、会議費や旅費などに充てたと弁明した。「酉とりの市で大きい熊手を買った」とも語った。

Later, however, he changed his story slightly, saying he had spent some of it on “personal activities as a politician and Diet member.” Why was there such a change in his explanation?
 その後、文書で「個人の政治活動、議員活動に使った」と微妙に説明を変えたのはなぜなのか。

The cosmetic company chairman testified that he received an e-mail from Watanabe just before the last lower house poll, explaining his party’s circumstances in the election and then asking for a loan. Watanabe has not provided sufficient explanation of this point.
 会社会長は、衆院選直前に渡辺氏から、選挙情勢の説明に続けて融資を求めるメールが届いた、と証言している。この点も渡辺氏は十分語っていない。

If he did indeed spend the money for the elections, it constituted a violation of the Public Offices Election Law. It therefore appears that he has been repeatedly trying to talk his way out of the situation.
 選挙に使ったのなら、公職選挙法に触れる。そのため、言い逃れを重ねているように見える。

Calls for resignation

Katsuhiko Eguchi, the party’s supreme adviser, and several younger lawmakers are asking Watanabe to resign as party head, a move which is understandable. Your Party members are alarmed that the party cannot effectively wage a campaign in the unified local elections next spring, as things stand now.
 みんなの党の江口克彦最高顧問や数人の若手議員が代表辞任を求めているのもうなずける。このままでは、来春の統一地方選を戦えないという危機感もあろう。

Secretary General Keiichiro Asao and other party executives said they would conduct an in-house investigation into how the money was spent. But it is doubtful whether investigations by members of Watanabe’s own party will be able to present results that are convincing to other people.
 浅尾幹事長ら党執行部は借入金の使途について党内で調査するとしている。だが、身内による調査で、説得力のある結果が出るかどうかは疑問だ。

Watanabe is the head of a political party that receives more than ¥2 billion a year in subsidies from state coffers. It is advisable for him to voluntarily appear before the lower house council on political ethics to give an explanation.
 年間20億円余の政党交付金を受け取る公党の党首である。渡辺氏は自ら進んで衆院政治倫理審査会で弁明してはどうか。

Watanabe’s case is extremely similar in nature to the violation of the Public Offices Election Law by former Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose. Regarding ¥50 million he received from the Tokushukai medical group before the Tokyo gubernatorial race in 2012, Inose initially insisted that the money was a personal loan, rather than election funds.
 こうした構図は、猪瀬直樹・前東京都知事の公選法違反事件と極めて似ている。猪瀬氏は、都知事選の前に「徳洲会」側から5000万円を受け取ったことに関し、「選挙資金でなく、個人的な借り入れだ」と主張していた。

He made an about-face and admitted to investigators of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office that the loan was partly for funding the campaign. Can Inose’s sin of having repeatedly deceived Tokyo residents and the metropolitan assembly be atoned for by merely paying a ¥500,000 fine?
 ところが、東京地検の取り調べに前言を翻し、「選挙資金の側面もあった」と認めた。虚偽の説明を繰り返して、都民や都議会を欺き続けた猪瀬氏の罪は、50万円の罰金だけで済まされるのか。

It is disappointing that there was no court hearing to unravel the circumstances and background of the case, for prosecutors filed a summary indictment against Inose.
 略式起訴のため、法廷で公判が開かれず、事件の経緯や背景が判明しなかったのも残念だ。

Political parties and politicians must earnestly address the issue of how to ensure the transparency of money in politics.
 政治とカネの問題で透明性をいかに高めるか。政党や政治家が真剣に取り組むべき課題である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 5, 2014)

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