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憲法96条 改正要件緩和が政治を変える

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 5, 2013)
Relax requirements for constitutional revision
憲法96条 改正要件緩和が政治を変える(3月4日付・読売社説)

Revision of Article 96 of the Constitution, which stipulates procedures to amend the national charter, has emerged as a major item on the political agenda.
 憲法改正の手続きを定めた憲法96条の改正問題が、大きな政治テーマに浮上している。

This is apparent after the Liberal Democratic Party, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party, which all called for revision of the article in their campaign platforms for the House of Representatives election in December, together have acquired more than two-thirds of the chamber's 480 seats.
 背景には、昨年末の衆院選で自民党や日本維新の会、みんなの党が96条改正を公約とし、3党で衆院の3分の2超の議席を獲得したことがある。

Depending on the outcome of the House of Councillors election in July, legislative arrangements for revising the Constitution will get under way for the first time.
 7月の参院選の結果次第では、憲法改正の環境が初めて整う。

Therefore, constitutional revision is now on the political agenda and has a chance of being realized.
 憲法改正は今や、現実味を帯び始めた政治課題だ。

Article 96 calls for revision to be initiated by the Diet through an affirmative vote of two-thirds or more of all members of each house, followed by a national referendum in which support from a majority of the public must be secured.
 96条は、憲法改正について、衆参各議院の総議員の3分の2以上の賛成で国会が発議し、国民投票で過半数の賛成を得なければならないと規定している。

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Hard to clear dual hurdle

It will not be easy to clear the high dual hurdle of winning affirmative votes of two-thirds or more in each chamber and securing majority support from the public in a referendum.
 衆参とも3分の2以上を確保したうえで、国民投票も行うという二重の高いハードルを乗り越えるのは容易なことではない。

If the threshold of two-thirds is revised to a majority as proposed by the LDP, it will be easier to initiate amendments.
 自民党が提案するように「3分の2以上」を「過半数」とすれば改正を発議しやすくなる。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government will seek revision of Article 96, which is supported by many parties, ahead of other articles over which parties are divided. This is a realistic and appropriate approach.
 安倍首相は、政党の考え方が対立する条項ではなく、まずは多くの党が賛同できる96条から改正に取り組む考えを示した。現実的で妥当なアプローチである。

His view is shared by some conservative members of the Democratic Party of Japan who reportedly plan to form a new parliamentary league with lawmakers of Ishin no Kai and Your Party to revise Article 96.
 民主党の一部の保守系議員も同様に考え、維新、みんな両党の議員と96条改正を目指して新たな議員連盟を設立するという。

The controversy over constitutional revision, which puts politicians' views of the nature of the state to the test, is significant in that it could lead to a political realignment.
政治家の国家観を問う憲法改正の問題は、政界再編につながる可能性を持つ意味でも重要である。

The DPJ has not yet decided on its position on the issue due to differences of opinion within the party.
 民主党は、党内の意見対立から依然として憲法改正に対する方針が定まっていない。

Even its party platform makes little reference to the issue, saying only that the party "envisages a future-oriented constitution to establish constitutionalism in the true sense of the word." This statement does not give the people much idea about how the party will tackle constitutional revision.
 党の綱領にも「真の立憲主義を確立するため、未来志向の憲法を構想していく」とあるだけだ。これでは憲法改正にどう取り組むのか、さっぱりわからない。

The DPJ must hold in-depth discussions on the matter ahead of the upper house election as the issue has the potential of becoming a bone of contention.
 憲法改正が争点になり得る参院選に向けて、今から党内論議を尽くしておくべきだろう。

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Unrealistic situation

A constitution does not have to remain unchanged forever. In the past 13 years alone, Switzerland amended its Constitution 23 times, while Germany revised its top law 11 times and France 10 times.
 憲法は、「不磨の大典」ではない。この13年間だけでも、スイスは23回、ドイツは11回、フランスは10回も憲法を改正している。

However, since it was enforced in 1947, the Constitution of Japan has never been revised, an extremely rare case.
 制定以来一度も改正されていない日本の憲法は、世界的に見ても希有(けう)な存在だと言える。

With the changing times, the gap between the Constitution and reality has become diverse and distinct. Many lawmakers believe the Constitution should be revised in relation to protection of environmental rights and privacy, let alone national security, but nothing has been done.
 時代の変化に伴い、憲法と現実との様々な乖離(かいり)が目立っている。安全保障はもとより、環境権、プライバシーの保護など、多くの国会議員が憲法改正は必要と考えながらも、実現に至らなかった。

It is natural for Ishin no Kai coleader Toru Hashimoto to assert that "it's important to discuss the content [of the Constitution], but is it satisfactory to leave intact a situation in which we cannot even seek the people's judgment on revision proposals?"
 日本維新の会の橋下共同代表が「中身の議論も大事だが、国民に改正案の是非を問うこともできない状態を放置していいのか」と主張するのはもっともだ。

Now is the time to relax Article 96's requirements that has made it so difficult to revise the Constitution.
憲法改正を困難にしてきた96条の改正要件を緩和すべき時である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 4, 2013)
(2013年3月4日01時50分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-03-06 05:46 | 英字新聞

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