「原発ゼロ」社会:下 市民の熟議で信頼構築を

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 6
EDITORIAL: New system needed to ensure public input on nuclear power
「原発ゼロ」社会:下 市民の熟議で信頼構築を

The devastating accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant last year has evoked serious public distrust of politicians, bureaucrats and scientists.
 福島第一原発の事故をきっかけに、政治や行政、科学者などへの不信と疑念が広がった。

What needs to be done to stop the continuing growth of public distrust and restore their credibility with the people?
 その連鎖を断ち切り、信頼を再構築するにはどうしたらいいのだろうか。

The government has promised to promote “national debate” as part of its efforts to map out a new nuclear power and energy policy. Specifically, it plans to sort out the possible policy options that have been discussed by related advisory councils and study groups and present them to the people.
 政府は新たな原発・エネルギー政策に向けた「国民的議論」を掲げる。関係する審議会や調査会で検討してきた選択肢を整理して、国民に提示する。

The government says it is aiming to build a national consensus on the future direction of the policy by summer.
夏までに今後の方向性について合意を目指す考えという。

But not all the assumptions for the debate are clear.
 ただ、議論の前提が整っているわけではない。

The government’s committee looking into the nuclear accident has yet to compile its report. The proposed new nuclear safety watchdog, tentatively named the “Nuclear Regulatory Agency,” has yet to be created. It will be even longer before new nuclear safety standards are established.
政府の事故調査委員会の報告はまだだ。原子力規制庁(仮称)もできていない。原発の新しい安全基準作りはさらに先になる。

The power supply and demand situation this summer and progress in the efforts to promote use of renewable energy sources will also influence the debate.
この夏の電力需給や自然エネルギーの普及度合いも議論を左右する。

A well-thought-out plan and its careful implementation are vital. A rough-and-ready approach could even deepen the people’s distrust.
 知恵を絞る必要がある。拙速にことを運べば、かえって不信を広げかねない。

ORDINARY PEOPLE LEARN
■普通の人々が学ぶ

Western industrial nations have responded to “crises of credibility” of experts involved in policymaking, such as scientists, by trying to restore public confidence in them through in-depth discussions among citizens.
 欧米では、科学者ら専門家への「信頼の危機」に見舞われた際、市民参加による熟議を通じて信頼の再生を図ってきた。

When the credibility of scientists who ruled out the transmission of mad cow disease to humans was shattered, for example, Britain began to make serious efforts to promote policy debate involving ordinary citizens. Some 20,000 citizens took part in the debate over genetically modified food, including people who did so through the Internet. Various forums were established also for discussions on the safety of nanotechnology.
 たとえば、英国は牛海綿状脳症(BSE)のヒトへの感染を否定した専門家の信頼が地に落ち、市民参加型の議論に本腰を入れた。遺伝子組み換え作物をめぐる議論にはネット経由を含め2万人が参加した。ナノテクノロジーの安全性でも、様々な議論の場が設けられた。

Science and technology make our lives more comfortable and convenient but can also produce some unexpected side effects and risks.
 科学技術は暮らしを便利にするが、思わぬ副作用や危険性もある。

As the world has experienced many serious cases of public pollution and major accidents, there is now a growing global trend toward giving public opinion more influence over policy decisions on such issues as whether to permit the practical use of specific technologies.
公害や大事故などを経て、実用化の是非などに社会の意見を反映する流れが世界的に加速している。

At the same time, a broad array of schemes have been devised to allow citizens to participate in the policymaking process as a way to shore up eroding public confidence in democracy.
 一方、低下傾向にある民主政治への信認を補う目的でも、政策形成に市民が加わるさまざまな仕組みが考案されてきた。

The nuclear power and energy policy is one of the biggest themes that should reflect these two trends.
 原発・エネルギー政策は、この二つの流れが重なる最大級のテーマといえる。

In Japan, however, the atomic energy policy has been plagued by fake democracy. Spurious efforts to seek the opinions of local communities that are actually designed to justify the predetermined plans to build nuclear power facilities have been rampant.
 日本の原発政策では住民の意見を聞く形をとりながら、実際は既定の方針を正当化する「名ばかり民主主義」が横行してきた。

The bleak situation was highlighted anew by Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s attempt to manipulate public opinion on the resumption of operations at its Genkai nuclear power plant by using hundreds of its employees to send pro-nuclear e-mails to a TV program on the issue.
九州電力で発覚したやらせメールはその典型例だ。

In contrast, major Western countries generally have fairer and more transparent systems for citizen participation in policy debate. Typically, several dozens of “ordinary citizens” are chosen at random for debate on a specific policy issue to ensure that the participants represent a good cross section of society.
 これに対し、欧米での市民参加型では、無作為抽出などで数十人程度の「普通の人々」を選ぶのが一般的だ。いわば「社会の縮図」である。

After learning the basics of the issue, the participants think them over and discuss the issue at leisure. Usually, the participants are asked to express their opinions through proposals and questionnaires as summaries of the results of the debate. Their opinions are considered by the government and the legislature.
 参加者は基礎知識を学んだうえでじっくり考え、議論する。その結果を意見書やアンケートで集約し、行政や議会に尊重させるといった流れをとる。

To win the trust of society, such policy debate must be independent, neutral and transparent.
 議論が社会から信用されるための生命線は、独立、中立、そして透明性だ。

That means debate needs to be organized and sponsored by a neutral and independent body and moderated by experienced staff skilled in avoiding leading debate in a certain direction. It is also important to make clear the relationship of the experts chosen to support the debate with the industry and the government.
 中立で独立した主催者のもとで、議論を誘導しないよう習熟したスタッフが進行役をつとめる。議事に協力する専門家が業界や行政とどんな関係にあるのかも明らかにする。

'COMMON SENSE' AS SUPPLEMENT
■補完としての「常識」

This approach is no magic wand. It requires time and money. The citizens have no power to make the final policy decision. The system doesn’t replace the legislature composed of elected representatives.
 これらの方法は決して魔法の杖ではない。手間も金もかかるうえ、最終的な決定権はない。選挙で選ばれた議会に代わるわけではない。

All that such a system can do is to show the provisional common sense among citizens at that time, which can only play a supplementary role.
あくまで補完として、その時々の暫定的な市民社会の常識を示すにすぎない。

Still, it can make up for the shortcomings of the traditional policymaking process, at least to some extent. It can make visible citizens’ good sense as well as differences in the principles and tenets on which they cannot compromise.
 それでも、これまでのやり方の欠点を補う力はある。市民の良識や、譲れない信条の違いを「見える化」する。

These are functions that are needed for meaningful debate to overcome the sharp division among Japanese over the future of nuclear power generation in this nation.
賛否両極に大きく割れる原発議論を乗り越えるには必要な機能だ。

If the results of such careful and in-depth policy debate are handed down to the next generation, that would give an incentive for people living now to respect the right of “future generations” to make decisions. This is one realistic way to tackle policy challenges that will affect many generations to come, such as how to dispose of spent nuclear fuel.
 熟議の成果を次世代へリレーするなら、「将来世代」の意思決定権を尊重する動機もはたらく。使用済み核燃料の処分など末代まで関わる問題に、ひとつの方法を示唆してもいよう。

In addition, this approach is also useful for solving the dilemma posed by the fact that elections don’t necessarily guarantee the best choices for specific policy issues because they are fought over the campaign platforms of the parties that contain a wide range of proposals.
 さらに、各政党がさまざまな政策を掲げる選挙では個別政策で必ずしも最適の選択ができない、というジレンマを解きほぐすのにも有効だ。

In the city of Tokushima, citizens that didn’t belong to either camp in debate over the construction of a sluice-gate dam in the Yoshinogawa river held many meetings to study the issue. Their fruitful efforts prompted the city to hold a referendum on the issue.
 かつて徳島市では吉野川の可動堰(ぜき)問題をめぐり、賛否から距離を置く市民が勉強会を数多く開き、その実績を踏まえて市が住民投票を行ったことがある。

There can also be a system to hold popular referendums on national policy issues after several years of promoting such in-depth grassroots debate on the issues.
 国政でも、草の根の熟議を継続させ、数年間の実績を経てから国民投票にかける仕組みもありえよう。

In preparing for the envisioned national debate on the nation’s energy future, the government should entrust a neutral party to manage the actual operations and take steps to make sure there is an exhaustive and constructive debate that is beneficial for future generations as well.
 政府が考える国民的議論も、中立的な担い手に運営を任せたうえで、もっと時間をかけ、議論を将来につなげるよう、工夫してはどうだろう。

The government should craft specific plans to implement its policy of phasing out nuclear power generation in Japan as soon as possible. But continuing in-depth debate on the nuclear power policy would help promote public understanding and periodical reviews of the policy.
 政府としては脱原発依存の方針を早く具体化すべきだが、熟議型の議論を続けることは政策の定着や見直しに役立つ。

ROLE OF THE DIET
■国会で制度作りを

The Diet should play a leading role in the efforts to promote such in-depth policy debate by citizens.
 市民参加型の熟議を支えるうえで、大きな役割を果たしているのが議会(国会)だ。

In Japan, the Diet has set up its own investigative committee to uncover the facts about the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
 日本でも福島事故では国会が調査委員会を設け、事実究明に力を注いでいる。

We urge the Diet to show a commitment to fostering broad consensus among the people on related issues.
ここは、民意の熟成にも目配りしてほしい。

There is actually a long list of formidable policy challenges that will go beyond the current generation, including integrated tax and social security reform as well as the reinvention of the nuclear power and energy policy.
原発・エネルギーに限らず、税と社会保障改革など世代を超えた難題は目白押しである。

Lawmakers should consider setting up a new executive office within the Diet to organize meetings for in-depth discussions among citizens on policy issues and help universities, nonprofit organizations and other neutral bodies hold such public hearings as well.
 国会に事務局を置き、自ら熟議集会を主催したり、大学やNPOなど中立組織による開催を支援したりしてはどうか。

People tend to long for a strong leader when their distrust of politics and confusion about policy issues deepen.
 不信と混迷が深まると、強い指導者を求めがちだ。

But the only way to secure real progress in democracy is to get citizens more deeply involved in the policymaking process and in the efforts to solve policy issues as their own challenges.
しかし、政策への市民の関与を強め、わがこととして解決する道こそが民主主義を深化させる。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-05-07 08:04 | 英字新聞

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