2016年07月29日

ロ事件40年 浄化の道なお遠く

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 27
(社説)ロ事件40年 浄化の道なお遠く
EDITORIAL: Corrupt politics linger 4 decades after Lockheed bribery scandal

July 27 marked the 40th anniversary of the arrest of Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka over the Lockheed bribery scandal.
 ロッキード事件で田中角栄元首相が逮捕されて、きょう27日でちょうど40年になる。

Even after he was indicted on criminal charges, Tanaka (1918-1993) led a massive faction within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and wielded huge political clout by playing kingmaker. Since then, the landscape in Nagatacho, the political power center in Tokyo, has changed dramatically. Factions within the LDP have sunk into political irrelevance. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has acquired so much political power that many pundits are lamenting the lack of political forces that can pose a serious challenge to his leadership.
However, one thing remains unchanged in Japanese politics. It is the power of money that keeps breeding graft and corruption.
 刑事被告人になっても大派閥を率い、首相の座をも左右した田中支配時代と、派閥が力を失い、対抗勢力の不在を嘆く声がしきりの首相一強の現在と。永田町の光景は様変わりしたが、変わらないものがある。
 政治とカネをめぐる病だ。

During the past four decades, a series of steps have been taken to tackle the problem. The electoral systems of both houses of the Diet have been reformed. The Political Fund Control Law has been revised to remove special-interest money from politics, while the guilt-by-association rule concerning elections has been enhanced.
But the politicians who created the new rules have installed convenient loopholes. The current situation is nowhere close to the elimination of doubt and the restoration of public trust in politics.
 この間、衆参両院の選挙制度が改まり、政治資金規正法の見直しや連座制の強化など、それなりの手だてが講じられてはきた。だが法律をつくる政治家自身の手によって抜け道もしっかり用意され、疑惑の根絶と信頼の回復にはほど遠い。

Just recently, Akira Amari resigned as economy minister over his dubious relations with a construction company. And a month ago Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe stepped down after he failed to offer convincing explanations about his seemingly inappropriate use of political funds.
 最近も、業者との不透明な関係を追及され、甘利明氏が経済再生担当相を辞任した。舛添要一氏が政治資金の使途の疑念にこたえられないまま、都庁を去ったのは1カ月前のことだ。

Despite all these and other money scandals involving politicians, lawmakers, especially those of the LDP, remain reluctant to make any vigorous response to the deep-seated problem.
 にもかかわらず政治の側、とりわけ自民党の動きは鈍い。

During their campaigns for the July 10 Upper House election, most parties other than the LDP, including the LDP’s junior coalition partner, Komeito, the main opposition Democratic Party, the Japanese Communist Party and the Initiatives from Osaka, promised to take measures to clean up the rot in politics, although their proposals differed in content and strength.
The promised measures included imposing stronger responsibility on politicians to oversee the acts of their secretaries, injecting greater transparency into the expenditures of political funds and state-financed expenses for political activities, and banning political donations by companies and other organizations.
 先の参院選で、公明、民進、共産、おおさか維新などの各党は、主張する内容や濃淡に違いはあったものの、秘書に対する政治家の監督責任の強化、政治資金や国から支払われる活動経費の透明化、企業・団体献金の禁止など、浄化へのとり組みをそれぞれ公約にかかげた。

But the LDP, which has Amari among its members and supported Masuzoe in the previous Tokyo gubernatorial election, made no reference to this problem in its campaign platform.
 ところが甘利氏が所属し、前回の都知事選で舛添氏をかついだ自民党は、政策集の中でこの問題にいっさい触れなかった。

This kind of attitude only widens the distance between citizens and politics and deepens public cynicism.
 こうした姿勢が、ふつうの人と政治との距離を広げ、不信の根を深くする。

Although the LDP won a major victory in the Upper House election, the ruling party will be long remembered for its failure to make a serious response to scandals involving its members and allies.
選挙には勝ったが、「身内の醜聞にも正面から向き合わない」との評価は、この先ついてまわるだろう。

We urge the other parties, including Komeito, to make nonpartisan efforts to find common ground on this issue and create a situation that prods the reluctant LDP into action.
 公明をふくむ他の政党は、与野党の垣根をこえて合意点を探り、自民党が重い腰を上げざるを得ない状況をつくりだしてほしい。

What they should do first is to make all flows of money into politics completely transparent and establish a system in which citizens can always check and evaluate the flows.
まずとり組むべきは、すべてのカネの流れをガラス張りにして、市民が常に点検し評価できる環境を整えることだ。

Tanaka left another big blot in the history of Japanese politics.
 田中氏に関してはもう一つ、忘れてはならない汚点がある。

One and a half years before he was arrested, Tanaka was forced to resign as prime minister amid allegations about his shady financial connections. At that time, he pledged to “clarify the truth someday to win people’s understanding.”
 逮捕の1年半前、いわゆる金脈問題がとどめとなって首相を辞した際、氏は「いずれ真実を明らかにして、国民の理解を得てまいりたい」と表明した。

But he died without carrying out his promise. Now, both Amari and Masuzoe remain silent about the allegations against them, apparently waiting for the storm of criticism to pass.
 しかし約束はついに果たされなかった。そしていま、甘利、舛添両氏とも、自らの疑惑についてだんまりを決めこみ、批判の嵐が過ぎるのを待つ。

Nowadays, there is a growing wave of positive reviews about Tanaka’s political record, probably due in part to nostalgic feelings about his era, when the Japanese economy was growing rapidly.
 右肩上がりだった時代への郷愁も手伝ってか、田中氏再評価の動きがさかんだ。

But the dark role of big money in politics and politicians’ inability to be honest and straightforward with the public about money are both negative legacies from the era that still haunt Japanese politics 40 years after the downfall of the powerful, but corrupt politician.
だがカネをめぐる黒い体質と国民に対する不実は、40年を経てなお、清算されていない負の遺産である。
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