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憲法記念日 改正論議で国家観が問われる

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 4, 2012)
Vision of the state questioned in top law revision debate
憲法記念日 改正論議で国家観が問われる(5月3日付・読売社説)

 ◆高まる緊急事態法制の必要性

Japan is currently facing many pending issues at home and abroad, such as reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, resolving the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and dealing with China, which is expanding its economic and military power.
 日本は今、東日本大震災からの復興や原子力発電所事故の収束、経済・軍事で膨張する中国への対応など、内外に多くの懸案を抱えている。

Since what the state should be is being questioned, we should go back to basics. The ruling and opposition parties should pursue the ideal form this country should take by deepening their discussions on constitutional revisions.
 国家のあり方が問われているからこそ、基本に戻りたい。与野党は憲法改正の論議を深め、あるべき国家像を追求すべきだ。

 ◆主権回復60年の節目に

Ahead of last Saturday, April 28, the 60th anniversary of the San Francisco Peace Treaty coming into force, the Liberal Democratic Party released the second draft of its proposed revisions to the Constitution.
 サンフランシスコ講和条約の発効からちょうど60年を迎えた4月28日を前に、自民党は、第2次憲法改正草案を発表した。

LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki stressed the necessity of constitutional revisions, a fundamental issue that led to the party's formation, saying it is something "we should've tackled when Japan regained sovereignty."
 谷垣総裁は「主権を回復した時に挑まねばならないことだった」と述べ、結党の原点である憲法改正の必要性を強調した。

It is a well-known fact that the Constitution was based on a draft drawn up by the General Headquarters of the Allied Powers. We commend the LDP for again proposing national debate on revisions to the top law by reviewing its first draft of revisions, written in 2005.
 憲法が、連合国軍総司令部(GHQ)の案を基に作成されたことは周知の事実である。自民党が2005年の草案を見直し、改めて国民的な憲法改正論議を提起したことは評価したい。

===

Emergencies provision sought

The LDP's new draft also established a provision to deal with emergencies, based on lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake. Under the latest draft, the prime minister would be able to declare a state of emergency in the event of armed attacks on the country, a civil war and large-scale disasters.
 新草案は、東日本大震災の反省も踏まえて、緊急事態に対処するための条項を設けた。武力攻撃や内乱、大規模災害の際、首相は「緊急事態」を宣言できる。

The revisions would enable the prime minister to issue orders to the heads of local governments based on the declaration.
 それに基づき、地方自治体の首長に指示することなどを可能にした。

To protect people's lives and property, fundamental human rights--including the freedom to choose and change one's residence, and property rights--could be temporarily restricted within the minimum scope necessary. For this reason, some people object to the provision concerning emergencies.
 国民の生命と財産を守るためには、居住及び移転の自由、財産権など基本的人権を必要最小限の範囲で一時的に制限することにもなろう。それだけに、緊急事態条項への反対論はある。

However, it is much more dangerous for the government to take supralegal measures that it claims are necessary in an emergency, with no provision for such steps stipulated in the Constitution. This is why almost all countries, including Germany and France, have a provision concerning emergencies in their constitutions.
 しかし、何の規定もないまま、政府が緊急事態を理由に超法規的措置をとることの方がよほど危険だ。独仏などほとんどの国が憲法に緊急事態条項を明文化しているのは、そのためでもある。

It is the government's responsibility to prepare for emergencies in times of calm.
 緊急事態への備えを平時に整えておくことは、政府の責務だ。

Previous damage estimates are being reviewed for earthquakes, including a possible inland earthquake that could directly hit Tokyo, in which the capital's functions could be paralyzed, and a massive earthquake along the Nankai Trough caused by simultaneous Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai earthquakes.
 首都機能が喪失しかねない「首都直下地震」や、東海、東南海、南海地震の連動する「南海トラフの巨大地震」など従来の被害想定が見直されている。

Also, the possibility that nuclear power plants in the nation may be targeted by terrorists cannot be denied.
原発を狙うテロの可能性も否定できない。

Existing laws, including the Disaster Countermeasures Basic Law, are inadequate to fully cope with situations in which the state's functions are hindered.
 国家の機能が損なわれる事態に災害対策基本法など現行の法律だけでは、十分対処できまい。

Another important point for debate will be dealing with a possible emergency at a time when the House of Representatives has been dissolved or when its lawmakers' terms are about to expire.
 衆院解散時、あるいは任期満了に近い時点での緊急事態対処も重要な論点になる。

Parallel to discussions on constitutional revisions, the government also should consider establishing new legislation such as a basic contingency law.
 憲法改正論議と同時に、政府は「緊急事態基本法」といった新たな立法も考慮すべきである。

===

Self-defense issues
 ◆自衛隊位置付け明確に

On national security, the LDP's new draft maintained the current Constitution's policy of denouncing war, which is stipulated in Article 9, but added a clause saying this does not preclude the nation from "invoking the right to self-defense."
 安全保障に関して新草案は9条の戦争放棄を堅持し、「自衛権の発動を妨げるものではない」との一文を加えた。

The draft authorized the nation to possess the Self-Defense Forces under the name of "national defense forces." The draft also clarified that Japan is entitled to exercise the right to collective self-defense, which has been officially denied by past administrations.
自衛隊は「国防軍」として保持するとした。政府見解が禁じる集団的自衛権の行使を、可能にすることを明確にした。

The LDP's draft also added a clause stipulating that the government must cooperate with citizens to maintain the nation's territorial integrity and secure its resources.
 政府は、国民と協力して領土を保全し、資源を確保しなければならない、との条項も設けた。

We believe the LDP's judgments on the draft over national security are all appropriate.
 いずれも妥当な判断だ。

The security environment surrounding Japan has increasingly become severe, due to factors including China's advancement into adjacent seas and North Korea's nuclear development program. In this situation, it is necessary for Japan to be able to exercise the right to collective self-defense for the Japan-U.S. alliance to function smoothly.
 中国の海洋進出、北朝鮮の核開発など、日本の安全保障を巡る環境が厳しさを増す中、集団的自衛権の行使を可能にし、日米同盟を円滑に機能させる必要がある。

On the other hand, we have doubts about the LDP's decision to refrain in the new draft from reviewing the status of the House of Councillors, which holds a disproportionately strong power.
 一方、自民党は、参院の権限が強すぎる現状の見直しに踏み込まなかった。これは疑問である。

In the divided Diet--in which opposition parties hold a majority in the upper house--bills not supported by the opposition parties will not pass. In addition, the upper house's censure motions now virtually decide the fate of cabinet ministers. This destructive practice is causing turmoil in the Diet.
 衆参ねじれ国会では、野党が反対する法案は成立しない。参院の問責決議が閣僚の生殺与奪権を事実上握るという悪(あ)しき慣習も国会を混乱させている。

Your Party has proposed a plan to introduce a single-chamber system by integrating the two houses, and a suprapartisan group of lawmakers has prepared a constitutional reform proposal aimed at introducing a single-chamber system. We believe the party and the group are both aware that one reason the Diet is not functioning sufficiently is the upper house's disproportionately strong power.
 みんなの党は衆参統合で一院制とする案を唱えている。超党派の議員連盟は一院制実現への憲法改正案をまとめた。国会の機能不全の要因に「強すぎる参院」があるとの認識からだろう。

However, it is difficult to achieve a single-chamber system by revising the Constitution. It would be more realistic to figure out the appropriate division of the roles of the two houses under the current bicameral system.
 だが、憲法改正で一院制を実現するのは、困難である。二院制は維持しつつ、衆参の役割分担を工夫することの方が現実的だ。

The LDP, Your Party and the Sunrise Party of Japan have all expressed their views on an ideal Constitution. However, the Democratic Party of Japan, which holds the reins of government, has been reluctant to join discussions over amending the Constitution. It is inexcusable for the ruling party to shun an issue concerning the foundation of the nation.
 自民党やみんなの党、たちあがれ日本が、憲法に対する考え方を表明しているのに、政権党である民主党は、改正論議に及び腰だ。国家の基本に関する問題で「逃げ」の姿勢は許されない。

===

Tackle vote disparity now
 ◆違憲状態解消が急務だ

In autumn, the Deliberative Councils on the Constitution in both houses--which had been dormant for more than four years--finally began creaking into action.
 国会では昨年秋、4年以上休眠状態にあった衆参両院の憲法審査会が、ようやく動き始めた。

The lower house Research Commission on the Constitution has already clarified the main points regarding the amendment of the Constitution at meetings held from 2000 to 2005. The deliberative councils should begin concrete discussions on revising the Constitution soon. We hope the councils understand there is no time to waste.
 憲法改正への主要な論点は、2000~05年の衆院憲法調査会で既に整理されている。スピード感を持って、具体的な改正論議に着手してもらいたい。

One serious problem regarding the Constitution is the lawsuits over the disparity in the weight of votes. In recent years, an increasing number of court rulings concluded that the disparity in the weight of votes in both lower and upper house elections are "unconstitutional" or in an "unconstitutional state," which means it could be unconstitutional if the situation is not changed within a certain period. However, discussions on reforming the electoral system have made no substantial progress.
 深刻なのは、「1票の格差」を巡る訴訟で、衆参両院に「違憲」「違憲状態」の司法判断が相次いでいる問題だ。選挙制度改正論議が一向に進展していない。

Diet members should be ashamed of greeting the Constitution Day after leaving the matter for so long despite knowing the disparity problem has come so close to being unconstitutional. This irresponsible attitude is unforgivable in the nation's legislative body.
 国会は、違憲状態を放置して憲法記念日を迎えたことを猛省すべきだ。立法府として無責任に過ぎる。

It is especially urgent for the lower house, many members of which are whispering about the possibility of a snap general election, to review the electoral system.
特に解散・総選挙の可能性がとりざたされる衆院は、選挙制度の見直しが急務である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 3, 2012)
(2012年5月3日02時31分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-05-06 07:41 | 英字新聞

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