《经济学人》:无望的日本政治
日期:2011-08-04 11:22

(单词翻译:单击)

Japan’s hopeless politics
无望的日本政治

Nuclear options
核的选择

The uncanny stickability of Japan’s prime minister
日本首相超长的忍耐力

Jul 30th 2011 | TOKYO| from the print edition

ALREADY enduring its sixth prime minister in five years, Japan is overdue a seventh. Naoto Kan, the man at present on the inside of the revolving door, only stayed there by promising at the beginning of June to step down soon, in return for a stay of execution at a parliamentary no-confidence vote. For both the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and his comrades in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) the way he is lingering over his departure is exasperating.

尽管五年之内日本经历了六位首相,但是任然期待新首相的上任。现任首相菅直人在处在旋转门之间,之所以还在位,是因为六月初称其在不久就会下台,以换取国会终止不信任的投票。无论是反对党自民党还是同僚的民主党,都对他这种迟迟不愿卸任的方式感到愤怒。

For rival politicians (a category that includes virtually all of them), it is also rather frightening. As Japan struggles to cope with the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear-power plant, Mr Kan has nailed his colours to the anti-nuclear mast, arguing that Japan needs to reduce its dependence on atomic energy. Oddly he later watered this down, by saying he was only expressing a personal view not a government policy. But other politicians fear that, rather than quit, he may call an election, campaign on the future of the nuclear industry and (such is the popular hostility to it) win. Goshi Hosono, an avowedly pro-nuclear DPJ technocrat whom Mr Kan appointed as minister in charge of the nuclear mess, says it is “not a good idea” to test the public on this issue.

对于对手(事实上包括所有人)来说,这十分可怕。日本正在全力应对福岛第一核电站泄漏灾害,菅直人坚持反核的立场,表示日本应减少对核依赖。随后又弱化其态度,称仅代表个人观点,而非政府的政策。但是其他的政客们则担心他不会弃权,而会继续参选,借反对核工业发展(大家都反对这点)而获胜。菅直人任命的公开拥核的民主党技术官员Goshi Hosono称,用核问题测试民众态度,这个想法的确不怎么样。

This week Mr Kan said he had no intention of dissolving parliament early, arguing that the public would not like it and that it would be better to wait until 2013. Even that did not entirely quash rumours that he may use the anniversary on August 6th of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima to make a dramatic anti-nuclear gesture.

本周,菅直人谈到他无意提早解散议会,公众也不希望这样,最好能维持到2013年。而对于流言,仍未平息,菅直人可能会在8月6日广岛核爆纪念日上表明自己反核的态度。

A snap election would seem out of character. But Mr Kan has still not set a date for his departure. At the end of June he listed three conditions he wanted met before standing down. One was fulfilled this week, with the passage of a ¥2 trillion ($26 billion) supplementary budget to help pay for recovery from the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March. There is also some progress on the second condition, a law covering the setting of feed-in tariffs for electricity, to encourage the development of renewable energy.

提前大选,让人出乎意料。但是菅直人依然没有宣布下台时间。六月底,他向国会提出了下台的三个要求。第一,本周内需完成2万亿日元(260亿美元)的追加预算,用于三月份发生的破坏性地震和海啸的重建。第二,通过电网回购法律,以鼓励新型能源的发展。

The third, passage of legislation enabling the government to borrow to finance its deficit, may be trickier. In an echo of the showdown in Washington, DC, the LDP wants Mr Kan to drop some of the DPJ’s spending promises—such as an allowance for raising children, and the abolition of expressway tolls and tuition fees for public high schools.

第三个要求实施起来相对复杂,是通过立法允许政府借债以弥补赤字。而美国两党也在为债务问题进行博弈,自民党希望菅直人能放弃民主党在一些问题上的开支——提供孩子的抚养津贴,取消高速公路收费和公立学校的学费。

Even if that dispute is resolved, Mr Kan may still try to hang on after the end of this parliamentary session on August 31st. This seems remarkable. The political class loathes him; the press relentlessly reviles him; business despises him; and voters want him to go. His approval rating has plummeted to below 20%.

即使该条件得以满足,8月31日的国会议会结束时,菅直人仍然不会下台。这看起来似乎不太寻常。政客们不喜欢他,媒体不遗余力的指责他,企业界看不起他,选民们也希望他下台,而他的支持率已经下降到20%。

One of his advisers, however, points out that most other politicians score even lower in the polls. Mr Kan’s unpopularity is a symptom of a deeper problem: a loss of faith in politics generally. Partisan and intra-party bickering at a time of national emergency has further battered politics’ reputation. Mr Kan’s government is widely seen as having been inept in disaster-management, and its standing will sink deeper if, as many expect, scares about nuclear-tainted food worsen.

然而,他的一位顾问就指出,其他大多数政客的支持率比他还低。菅直人不受欢迎的现象反映出一个深层次的问题:公众普遍对政府失去信心。在全国紧要关头,党派及各党内部的争斗损坏了政府的信誉。菅直人的政府被公众指责为救灾不力,很多人担心,若食物遭核辐射,他的支持率会再下降。

Japan badly needs effective government. The clean-up from the tsunami and earthquake has been impressive. But rebuilding has yet to begin, because big and urgent decisions about what to rebuild where have yet to be taken. Mr Kan’s team hardly seems up to the job. But few believe a replacement would be much better.

日本迫切需要效率高的政府。海啸和地震的善后处理让民众记忆深刻。但是震后重建工作还未启动,因为政府还没有对怎么重建,在哪重建做出重大和迫切的决定。菅直人的政府似乎很难胜任这个工作。但几乎没有人认为换一批人能比他做的好。

Desperate to get rid of him, some of his colleagues are whispering of their own weapon of mass destruction: the collective resignation of the cabinet and DPJ hierarchy. That might do the trick in ousting Mr Kan. But it would not lift the contempt in which the political class is held.

菅直人的同僚们也迫切希望其下台,正在私下动用杀手锏:内阁与民主党层集体辞职。这或许会让菅直人下台。但是依然无法改变民众对政府的蔑视。

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重点单词
  • promisingadj. 有希望的,有前途的
  • electionn. 选举
  • approvaln. 批准,认可,同意,赞同
  • categoryn. 种类,类别
  • remarkableadj. 显著的,异常的,非凡的,值得注意的
  • relentlesslyadv. 残酷地,无情地
  • sinkn. 接收端,沟渠,污水槽,散热器 vi. 下沉,下落,
  • mastn. 船桅,旗杆,天线杆 abbr. 磁性环形激波管(风
  • intentionn. 意图,意向,目的
  • gesturen. 手势,姿态 v. 作手势表达