山本議員の直訴 天皇の政治利用に自覚がない

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 3, 2013
Attempt by Yamamoto to use Emperor for political purposes is outrageous
山本議員の直訴 天皇の政治利用に自覚がない(11月2日付・読売社説)

To what extent is Taro Yamamoto aware as a lawmaker? His outrageous behavior at an Imperial garden party makes us doubt his qualifications.

Yamamoto, a member of the House of Councillors, handed a letter directly to the Emperor at the autumn Imperial garden party held Thursday in the Akasaka Imperial Gardens in Motoakasaka, Tokyo. After his unprecedented action, the grand chamberlain received the letter from the Emperor.

The letter referred to health problems of children and the labor environment surrounding workers in the aftermath of the radioactive emissions at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, according to Yamamoto. “I wrote the letter out of the desire to tell His Majesty about the real situation,” he said.

But the reasonable way for him to behave as a lawmaker is to take up the issue in a question-and-answer session in the Diet. It is natural that his action has been criticized as intended to “use the Emperor for political purposes.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed displeasure, saying, “Common sense informs us whether handing a letter directly [to the Emperor] in such a situation is appropriate.” It is no wonder that lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition parties uniformly criticized Yamamoto’s action as outrageous for a lawmaker.

Yamamoto, a former actor, ran as an independent in the upper house election in July from the Tokyo constituency, calling for “ending nuclear power generation,” and was elected to his first term. He is known as a staunch opponent of restarting the nation’s nuclear reactors. He presumably handed the letter to the Emperor to promote his political stance.

Passing the buck

He said, “I wasn’t aware my action violated the rules.” He passed the buck to the media, saying: “[My action] has been denounced as one intended for political purposes because the matter was played up by the media. The mass media are the ones that are using [the Emperor] for political purposes.”

However, only a limited number of people are allowed to attend the Imperial garden party. Yamamoto was able to attend because he was invited as an upper house member. His action was taken up by the media because he petitioned the Emperor in the presence of cameramen and photographers by taking advantage of his status as Diet member.

In the first place, what did Yamamoto intend to do by taking up the nuclear issue in a letter to the Emperor?

Under the Constitution, the Emperor does not have any political function. Even allowing for the principle of sovereignty residing with the people, Yamamoto’s behavior can only be considered outrageous.

It is appalling that a man who does not know the meaning of his action and cannot imagine its consequences is occupying a Diet seat.

After hearing explanations from Yamamoto about his behavior, the upper house Rules and Administration Committee unanimously agreed his action can be construed as unpardonable for a lawmaker and discussions are necessary to prevent a recurrence.

The committee stopped short of deciding on punishment. But acts such as Yamamoto’s cannot go unpunished.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 2, 2013)
(2013年11月2日01時32分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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