海保ビデオ―独断公開が投じた課題

2010/11/12
--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 11
EDITORIAL: Leak of trawler footage
海保ビデオ―独断公開が投じた課題

A Japan Coast Guard officer of the 5th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Kobe told his superior he leaked the video footage of the Chinese trawler off the Senkaku Islands that was posted on YouTube. Investigators are looking into the case as a possible violation of the National Civil Service Law.
 尖閣沖の中国漁船の映像は自分が流出させた、と神戸海上保安部の保安官が上司に申し出た。捜査当局は国家公務員法違反の疑いで調べている。

Views are divided over the video. Some criticize the government for deciding not to disclose it while others show understanding.
 ビデオの取り扱いをめぐっては、非公開を決めた政府を批判する声と、理解を示す声との双方がある。

But if a government employee is allowed to render meaningless a high-level government decision concerning diplomatic relations at his own discretion, the administration would come to a standstill.
だからといって、現時点での外交関係を踏まえた政府の高度な判断を、一職員が独自の考えで無意味なものにしてしまっては、行政は立ちゆかない。

All we know at this moment are fragmentary details about the confession. How and why the leakage occurred and the motive and background of the incident are unclear.
 まだ供述の断片しか伝えられず、詳しい経緯や動機、背後関係などもはっきりしない。

There are also various views about whether the video in question constitutes confidential information that needs to be protected at the cost of imposing criminal punishment. We need to calmly keep an eye on the progress of the investigation.
問題の映像が刑事罰を科してまで守るべき秘密であるかどうかに関しても、様々な意見がある。捜査の行方を冷静に見守る必要がある。

How should we think about secrets kept by the government and the public to whom they essentially belong as sovereign members of the nation? This is a problem that has been debated for some time. However, the situation has drastically changed with the spread of the Internet that virtually anyone can use.
 政府が保有する秘密と、主権者としてその情報の本来の所有者である国民との関係をどう考えるか。かねて議論されてきた問題だが、インターネットが広まり、だれもが利用できる時代を迎え、局面は大きく変わった。

Up to now, the power to send information to society has been more or less limited to a small number of media organizations. The media were able to advocate freedom of expression and the press because they served the public's right to know and contributed to the advancement of democratic society. In return, the media also shouldered their share of responsibility.
 これまでは社会に情報を発信する力は少数のマスメディアにほぼ限定されていた。メディアが表現の自由や報道の自由を主張できるのは、国民の「知る権利」に奉仕して民主主義社会を発展させるためとされ、その裏返しとしてメディアも相応の責務を負った。

The media are expected to look into information to discern whether it is true or false and whether its contents and nature are worthy of reporting. They are required to use socially acceptable methods to gather information and protect their sources. They must also accept criminal and civil responsibility not to mention criticism by the government at the time.
 情報の真偽に迫り、報道に値する内容と性格を備えたものかどうかを見極める。世の中に認められる取材手法をとり、情報源を守る。時の政権からの批判は言うまでもなく、刑事上、民事上の責任も引き受ける――。

However, with the development of the Internet, the media are no longer in a position to exclusively transmit and disseminate information.
 だが、ネットの発達によりマスメディアが発信を独占する状況は崩れた。

The wide spread of information has given rise to more opportunities for the public to engage in discussions and make decisions. While there are positive aspects, the behavior of a single person could undermine the safety of society and the wealth and lives of the people. We are living in a difficult age.
 情報が広く流通し、それに基づいて国民が討論して決める機会が増える。そんな積極的な側面がある一方で、一人の行動によって社会の安全や国民の生命・財産が危機に陥りかねない。難しい時代に私たちは生きている。

Each of us needs to recognize this situation as our own problem. To what extent should the government publicly release the large volume of information it has? Which information should be kept confidential and what responsibility must the sender of information shoulder? A serious debate is needed.
 この状況を国民一人ひとりが自分の問題として認識し、政府が持つ膨大な情報をどこまで公開し、どこを秘匿するか、発信する側はどんな責任を負うのか、絶えざる議論が必要になる。

Should information be kept confidential or not? It is difficult to draw a clear line. There is no other way than to carefully examine the contents of information, weigh the advantages and losses of the public and make a decision at each juncture. From now on, a tense struggle between political and bureaucratic authorities, which tend to keep information to themselves, and the public, which calls for freedom of information, is expected to intensify.
 秘密とすべきものか、明快な一線を引くのは難しい。情報の内容を精査して、国民が得る利益と損失を測り、そのつど判断するしかない。秘匿に傾く政治権力や官僚機構と、公開を求める国民との間に緊張をはらむ攻防がこれまで以上に生じることになるだろう。

Even amid such a fierce battle, it is said that publicizing as much information as possible and developing debate strengthens democracy. We want society to share this basic direction.
 そのせめぎ合いの中でも、情報をできる限り公にして議論に付すことが民主主義を強めていくという、基本的な方向を社会で共有したい。

In response to the situation, the government decided to set up a committee to discuss information management. While we do not deny that such discussions should be held, we need to firmly keep an eye on the government's moves so that freedom of expression would not be threatened.
 事態を受けて政府は、情報管理のありようを検討する委員会を設けることを決めた。検討を否定するものではないが、築いてきた表現の自由が脅かされることのないよう、政府の動きにしっかり目を光らせる必要がある。
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by kiyoshimat | 2010-11-13 05:58 | 英字新聞

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