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经济学人:日本政坛 出身很重要

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Japanese politics

日本政坛
To the district born
出身很重要
Political families are on the rise
政治家族增多
THERE is a saying in Japan that a monkey that falls from a tree is still a monkey, but a member of parliament who falls is a nobody. Apart from some opportunities in a tiny lobbying industry, there are few prospects for cast-aside politicians. So an approaching snap election on December 14th is sparking anxiety in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)—except, that is, among a swelling class of politicians who owe their positions in no small part to family connections.
日本有句老话说,猴子掉下树后还是猴子,议员掉下来了,就什么都不是了。除了竞选游说中的少数工作机会,一个黯然退场的政客几乎没有出路。所以将在12月14日到来的换届选举在自由民主党内引发了一阵焦虑。不过,这其中并不包括那些依靠家族关系而平步青云的政客们,他们的阵容也在日益增大。

Botchan, or well-born “brats”, are prevalent in Japanese politics. More than two-fifths of LDP legislators are occupying safe seats in the Diet, Japan's parliament, that were once held by fathers, grandfathers, uncles or in-laws. The total number in both houses of the Diet across all parties is climbing again, after a recent sharp fall in the lower house. They have to compete for their relatives' seats, but they are normally a shoo-in. Eight out of 19 members of the cabinet have relatives who were in the Diet or in local politics.

太子党,或者叫做好命的“小鬼们”,在日本政界中非常盛行。日本国会中,超过2/5的自民党现任议员都有父亲、祖父、叔伯或者姻亲曾任议员。虽然下议院的家族议员人数在不久前大幅下降,但国会两院中各党派的家族议员总数又开始持续攀升。这些人同时也要为其亲属争取席位,不过正常来说都是十拿九稳。现任19名内阁成员中有8人都有亲属任职于国会或者地方政界。
There are numerous advantages in taking up a family member's position: a ready-formed electoral machine of koenkai, or local supporters, and immediate name-recognition which makes it easier to win elections. If a hereditary politician is unfortunate enough to lose office, the family's clout in the constituency can secure a job in a local business to tide them over.
继承家族成员的席位有数不清的好处:他们有已经成形的选举机器後援會,也就是地方支持者,而且他们的名字容易被选民认出,这也能提高胜算。哪怕一个政二代不幸失去职务,家族的影响力也能保证为其在地方的商界中找到工作,从而渡过失业的难关。
The threat of ejection every few years holds little appeal for outsiders. It is one reason why the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), with fewer dynasties, is struggling to find enough candidates to stand in the coming election. Many Japanese had hoped that the DPJ, when it was in power in 2009-12, would ban politicians from taking over from relatives in local party branches. But it did nothing (and its first prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, was a particularly hapless hereditary type). Now the public appears to regard the habit as a lost cause.
隔几年就有离职威胁使得政界对外界人士来说吸引力有限。这也是为什么执政时间更短的反对党日本民主党甚至难以为即将到来的选举找到足够候选人。很多日本人曾希望民主党在2009-12年执政期间,能够禁止政客接班任职与地方党派分部的亲属。然而民主党并未这么做(该党首位总理鸠山由纪夫就不幸是个政二代)。如今,民众都已经对这种现象见怪不怪。
There are still some critics, however, including among the many LDP legislators who had to claw their way up. Yuko Obuchi, a politician who took over her seat aged 26 from her father, Keizo Obuchi, a former prime minister, resigned from the cabinet in October after a storm of criticism over infractions of political-funding rules by members of her office. But the “princess”, as she is often known, is still likely to win a sixth term next month.
然而,批评的声音仍然不少,其中还包括一些通过自己奋斗上位的自民党议员。10月份时,26岁芳龄就接班父亲、前首相小渊惠三成为议员的小渊优子从内阁辞职。其原因即是对她办公室成员违规使用政治资金持续不断的批评声。不过这位被称作“公主”的政客极有可能在下月的选举中赢得第六个任期。
Are the botchan bad for Japan? Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, has inherited the eagerness of his grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, who was prime minister soon after the second world war, to revise the country's American-written constitution that renounces the use of war. Many regard Mr Abe's focus on this as a political weakness. Apart from being trapped by family preoccupations, hereditary politicians have difficulty challenging the interest groups that chose them.
太子党对于日本是利是弊?日本首相安倍晋三就是继承了他的外祖父、二战后不久上任的日本首相岸信介的意志,力图修订美国为日本撰写的放弃发动战争的宪法。很多人把安倍对此的执着看做是他的政治弱点。除了被家族成见所掣肘之外,政二代还难以挑战选择他们的政治团体的权威。
Yuji Tsushima, a retired LDP politician whose son, Juji Tsushima, is the fifth generation of MP in his family, attributes his family's influence to a decision after 1946 by his wife's uncle, the governor of Aomori prefecture, to hand over land to grateful farm labourers. But he sees flaws in the system. Having too many hereditary politicians, he admits, “is not good”.
津岛雄二是一位已经退休的自民党政客,他的儿子津岛淳是家族中的第五代国会议员。他认为自己家族的影响力要归功于他妻子的舅舅的一个决定。1946年后,时任青森县知事的这个舅舅做出决定将土地分给了农场的劳动者,这些人非常感激,一直支持津岛家。但是他认为这种体制中有一些问题。他承认说,有太多的政二代“不是好事”。翻译:胡靓 校对:戴京涌

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重点单词   查看全部解释    
liberal ['libərəl]

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adj. 慷慨的,大方的,自由主义的
n. 自

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election [i'lekʃən]

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n. 选举

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threat [θret]

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n. 威胁,凶兆
vt. 威胁, 恐吓

 
revise [ri'vaiz]

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n. 校订,修正,再校稿
v. 校订,修正,校

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district ['distrikt]

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n. 区,地区,行政区
vt. 把 ... 划

 
claw [klɔ:]

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n. 爪,钳,螯,爪状物
v. 抓,撕

 
weakness ['wi:knis]

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n. 软弱

 
grateful ['greitfəl]

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adj. 感激的,感谢的

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compete [kəm'pi:t]

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vi. 竞争,对抗,比赛

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relief [ri'li:f]

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n. 减轻,解除,救济(品), 安慰,浮雕,对比

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