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憲法96条改正 首相は参院選へ議論主導せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 18, 2013
Abe should lead debate on top law revision ahead of upper house poll
憲法96条改正 首相は参院選へ議論主導せよ(4月17日付・読売社説)

Japan's current Constitution has not been revised even once since its establishment.
 現憲法は制定以来一度も改正されていない。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is laying the groundwork to ask voters whether the hurdles to constitutional amendment should be lowered. We applaud Abe's willingness to amend the Constitution to respond to changes in Japan and the international community.
 安倍首相は憲法改正のハードルを下げることを有権者に問おうとしている。日本と国際社会の変化に対応できる憲法にするための積極的な姿勢は評価できる。

During an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun, Abe said he wants to make the issue of revising Article 96 of the Constitution, which stipulates conditions for proposing amendments, a central plank of the Liberal Democratic Party's pledges for this summer's House of Councillors election.
 首相は読売新聞のインタビューで、改正の発議要件を定めた96条について「参院選の中心的な公約として訴えたい」と語った。

Article 96 stipulates that a revision must be initiated by the Diet through an affirmative vote by two-thirds or more of all members of each chamber, followed by a national referendum in which a majority of the public must support the change.
 96条は、衆参各院の「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。

To make it easier to propose constitutional revisions, the LDP plans to lower the threshold of "two-thirds or more" to "a simple majority."
 自民党は改正を発議しやすくする目的で、「3分の2以上」を「過半数」とする方針だ。

Komeito still cautious

Abe has met with Toru Hashimoto, coleader of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), and they have already agreed on this point. Abe is trying to pave the way for constitutional revision by first reviewing Article 96, a process that some other parties support. We think his idea is realistic.
 首相は既に日本維新の会の橋下共同代表と会談し、この点で一致した。他党も賛同する96条の見直しから憲法改正への道を開こうという考え方は現実的だ。

For Abe, coordination with the LDP's coalition partner New Komeito will be crucial if constitutional revision is to become a reality. Komeito remains cautious about amending Article 96, saying the time is not ripe to do so.
 首相にとって憲法改正の実現を図るうえでの懸案は、公明党との調整だ。公明党は96条改正について、「熟度が足りない」と依然慎重な構えを見せている。

However, leaders of the LDP and Komeito will reportedly hold regular meetings to discuss this matter. We hope Komeito will deepen its deliberations on revising the nation's supreme law.
 ただ、自公両党は党首会談を定期化し、協議を重ねるという。公明党内で、憲法改正への議論が深まることを期待したい。

The Democratic Party of Japan insists that discussions on concrete details of the revisions, rather than tweaking Article 96 itself, are necessary. But it is the DPJ that should be discussing the content of possible revisions. The LDP has already compiled a draft of constitutional revisions in which the existence of the Self-Defense Forces would be spelled out in Article 9.
 民主党は、96条よりも改正の具体的な中身の議論が必要との見解を示しているが、中身の議論が求められるのは、むしろ民主党の方ではないか。自民党は既に、9条に自衛隊の存在を書き込むなど憲法改正の草案をまとめている。

There might be resistance to changing Article 96. This is because the United States and Germany still require an affirmative vote of "two-thirds or more" in their legislatures as a condition for revisions, although they do not hold national referendums on proposed changes to their constitutions. These countries have altered their top laws many times. Why has Japan been unable to do the same?
 96条の改正には反論もあろう。国民投票はないものの、米国やドイツは議会の「3分の2以上」の賛成などを改正の条件としているからだ。そうした国々が何度も憲法を改正してきたのに、日本はなぜそれができなかったのか。

Systemic obstacles

After World War II, the Japan Socialist Party, which championed the principle of unarmed neutrality, and other political parties held a degree of power in the Diet. They trumpeted that militarism would be revived if the Constitution was revised. The LDP, for its part, promoted policies that put the economy first and shied away from making an active commitment to revise the Constitution.
 戦後、非武装・中立を掲げる社会党などが一定の勢力を占め、憲法を改正すれば軍国主義が復活すると喧伝(けんでん)した。自民党も経済優先路線を推し進めて、憲法改正に積極的に取り組まなくなった。

The electoral system also has hindered constitutional revision. Since the multiple-seat constituency system was introduced, no ruling party has held two-thirds or more of the seats in both Diet chambers. Under the current system, in which proportional representation elections that give consideration to small parties were introduced in parts of both houses, it became difficult for ruling parties to secure at least two-thirds of the seats in either chamber--until the House of Representatives election in December.
 選挙制度も足かせだった。中選挙区制時代から衆参そろって政権与党が「3分の2以上」を確保できた例はない。現行制度も、衆参いずれも小政党に配慮した比例代表選を一部導入しており、昨年末の衆院選までは難しかった。

July's upper house election could, depending on the results, create conditions in which constitutional revision will become realistically possible for the first time. The upcoming election is extremely important because it will also affect Japan's future course.
 7月の参院選は、結果次第で初めて憲法改正が可能な状況が生まれよう。日本の針路にもかかわる、極めて重要な選挙となる。

There are a wide array of points to be discussed regarding the Constitution, including Article 96, the preamble, national security, the bicameral system, local autonomy and environmental rights. Each party should actively debate these matters.
 憲法の論点は96条をはじめ、前文、安全保障、二院制、地方自治、環境権など幅広い。各党は積極的に論戦を展開すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 17, 2013)
(2013年4月17日01時21分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-04-20 08:11 | 英字新聞

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