国会改革 党首討論の定例化から始めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:08 pm, May 25, 2014
Reform of Diet should give priority to regular debates among party heads
国会改革 党首討論の定例化から始めよ

Working-level members from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner New Komeito as well as the Democratic Party of Japan and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) have compiled measures to make Diet debates more efficient and substantial. The issue, pending from last year, has finally moved forward.
 自民、公明の与党と民主党、日本維新の会の4党実務者が国会審議の効率化と充実に向けた具体策をまとめた。昨年来の懸案が、ようやく前進したことになる。

After coordinating their proposals with other parties, the four parties should seek to have them adopted by the Diet in the next session.
 他党とも調整した上で、次の国会から適用すべきだ。

The pillar of their proposals is to reduce the appearances of the prime minister and Cabinet ministers before the Diet, and, instead, hold debates once a month in principle among the party heads from the ruling and opposition parties on essential issues.
 4党案は、首相や閣僚の国会出席を軽減する代わりに、与野党の党首が論戦する党首討論を原則、毎月1回開催することが柱だ。

The Japanese prime minister and Cabinet members are tied up with Diet schedules far more than their counterparts in the United States and European nations. It is a matter of course for the government to be made accountable, but it is putting the cart before the horse to require these leaders to answer questions in the Diet at the expense of their diplomatic and domestic political duties.
 欧米各国と比べて、日本の首相や閣僚は国会に拘束される時間が突出して長い。政府が国会で説明責任を果たすのは当然だが、国会答弁に追われて外交や内政にしわ寄せが生じるなら本末転倒だ。

It is appropriate to lighten the burdens of the prime minister and Cabinet members so as to allow them to dedicate their energies to their primary duties.
 首相と閣僚の負担を減らし、本来の業務に力を振り向けさせるのは妥当な考え方である。

Under the proposals, the prime minister’s attendance at both chambers’ budget committees would be limited to basic and concluding question-and-answer sessions and “intensive deliberations on certain issues deemed necessary.” Without stretching the interpretation of this stipulation, the prime minister’s attendance in the Diet should be limited.
 4党の案は、首相の予算委員会出席を基本的質疑や締めくくり質疑、「必要と認められる特定の事案に関する集中審議」に限定した。この規定を拡大解釈せず、首相の出席は抑制すべきだろう。

Supplementing the reduced duties of the prime minister with more debates among the party heads is a significant idea. There are many challenges that party heads must debate, such as the revision of the government’s constitutional interpretation over the exercise of the right to collective self-defense, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Abenomics economic policies and reforms of the nation’s social security system.
 負担軽減の一方で、党首討論を活用する意義は大きい。集団的自衛権行使を巡る憲法解釈の変更問題や、安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」、社会保障制度改革など、政党のトップ同士が論ずべき課題は多い。

No debates so far this year

Under the current system, party heads are supposed to hold debates once a week in principle. But there is an agreement among the parties that debates will not be held in weeks when the prime minister has to attend such Diet meetings as plenary and Budget Committee sessions.
 現在も党首討論は、週1回開催を原則としているが、首相が本会議や予算委などに出席する週は開かないとの申し合わせがある。

As the opposition parties prefer Budget Committee sessions, where it is easier for them to secure more time for questioning, debates among party heads have not been held so far this year. Party heads should be required to hold regular debates as part of this reform so party leaders will be able to hold substantial debates from a broader perspective.
 野党は、党首討論より審議時間を確保しやすい予算委を優先していることなどから、今年は一度も開かれていない。今度こそ定例化を実現し、大局的な観点からの論議を充実させるべきだ。

To make Diet deliberations on lawmaker-sponsored bills more meaningful, the proposals call for holding free debates between Diet members. As most bills submitted to the Diet are by the Cabinet, it is essential to promote legislation initiated by lawmakers.
 議員提出法案の審議を充実させるため、議員同士による自由討議を活用するという。多くの法案は内閣提出だ。議員立法の活用も進めねばならない。

Among other recommendations are that overseas trips by Cabinet members be approved in principle and that the senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries take charge for absent ministers. Reducing the burden on bureaucrats preparing ministers’ Diet answers by requiring Diet members to submit questions to the government early is also included in the proposals. Since these measures are all expected to make Diet deliberations more efficient, we hope the proposals will be carried out in their entirety.
 閣僚の海外出張を基本的に容認し、副大臣や政務官らが対応するとした。国会議員が質問内容を早い段階で政府に通告し、答弁準備にあたる官僚の負担を軽減させるという。いずれも国会審議を効率化する効果が期待できる。徹底してもらいたい。

Their proposals, however, are unsatisfactory in that they do not address the problem of a divided Diet, a situation in which the House of Councillors is controlled by the opposition, while the ruling camp has a majority in the House of Representatives. During the years of such a split Diet, opposition parties frustrated administrations by rejecting the government’s personnel appointments that required Diet approval. Narrowing the range of personnel appointments requiring Diet approval also merits consideration.
 物足りないのは、衆参のねじれに対応する取り組みを見送ったことだ。ねじれ国会では、野党は衆参両院の同意を必要とする国会同意人事を否決し、政権を揺さぶった。同意人事の範囲を絞るなどの見直しを検討してはどうか。

The ruling and opposition parties should calmly tackle such a challenge now that the Diet is no longer divided.
 与野党は、ねじれが解消した今こそ、こうした課題に冷静に取り組むべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 25, 2014)

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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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