13参院選 憲法改正 新たな国家像の議論を深めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 15, 2013
Deepen debate on Constitution to build consensus on revision
13参院選 憲法改正 新たな国家像の議論を深めよ(7月14日付・読売社説)

 ◆与野党の合意形成を図りたい

The supreme law provides the framework of this country, but what form should it take?
 国家の枠組みを定めた最高法規はどうあるべきだろうか――。

Revision of the Constitution is a major issue in the campaign for the July 21 House of Councillors election. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party support revising the Constitution, and New Komeito is considering it.
 参院選で憲法改正が主要な争点になっている。自民党と日本維新の会、みんなの党は改正に積極的で、公明党も改正を検討する。

Depending on results of the upper house election, political conditions allowing the Diet to propose constitutional revisions could be created for the first time since the end of World War II.
 参院選の結果次第では、国会が憲法改正を発議できる政治状況が戦後初めて生まれよう。

Dealing with Article 96
 ◆ハードル高い発議要件

One bone of contention in the election campaign centers on Article 96 of the Constitution, which stipulates procedures to revise the supreme law.
 参院選の論点の一つが、憲法改正手続きを定めた96条である。

The article says a constitutional revision will be put to a national referendum after the Diet proposes it with a concurring vote of two-thirds or more of all members in each chamber. This requirement is said to be much stricter than that of other countries.
 憲法改正は、衆参各院で「3分の2以上」の賛成により国会が発議し、その上で国民投票にかけられる。改正のハードルは海外と比べても極めて高いと言える。

The LDP advocates that the requirement for the initiative should be lowered to a simple majority so the public can more easily have “an opportunity to participate in a constitutional judgment” through a national referendum.
 自民党は発議要件を「過半数」に緩和し、国民が国民投票を通じて「憲法判断に参加する機会」を得やすくすると主張している。

Ishin no Kai says that Article 96 should be revised first, and Your Party agrees with relaxation of the requirement. The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan and Komeito oppose amending this article first, but they do not disagree with the revision itself.
 維新の会は96条の「先行改正」を唱え、みんなの党も要件緩和に賛成だ。民主、公明両党は先行改正には反対だが、96条の改正自体を否定はしていない。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has taken a flexible stance in consideration of the position of Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, suggesting that articles on basic human rights, pacifism and sovereignty of the people would not be subject to the relaxed requirement for revision.
 安倍首相は、公明党の立場に配慮し、基本的人権や平和主義、国民主権に関わる条項を発議要件緩和の対象から除外する案に言及するなど、柔軟に対応する意向も示している。

The LDP needs to coordinate its opinions with the other parties to realize revision of the Constitution. The ruling party should take a pragmatic approach through consensus-building with other parties even if it has to revise its own draft.
 憲法改正を実現するには、他党との調整が欠かせない。自民党案を修正してでも合意形成を目指すのは、現実的である。

The Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party oppose amending the Constitution, including Article 96, based on “constitutionalism,” the idea that harnessing power of the state and protecting the people are the essence of a constitution.
 共産、社民両党は、国家権力を縛り、国民を守るのが憲法の本質だとする「立憲主義」を掲げて96条改正などに反対している。

Abe has hit back at this interpretation of constitutionalism and said it is to rein in an autocratic government. The prime minister pointed out that a constitution will not only harness state power but also show what form a state should be.
 首相は、この立憲主義の解釈について「専制主義的な政府に対する考え方だ」と反論し、憲法は権力を縛るとともに国の姿を示すものだ、と指摘している。

Of course, a constitution can restrict state power but it also provides the philosophy and role of a state.
 憲法には権力の制限規範という側面もあるが、基本的な価値観や国家の役割も明示されている。

Even if the Diet’s requirement for a constitutional revision is relaxed, there will be no change in the need for a national referendum to revise the Constititution. We can hardly understand why some parties consider it incompatible with constitutionalism.
 国会の発議要件を緩和しても、国民投票で改正を決めることに変わりはない。それなのに、なぜ立憲主義と相いれないことになるのか。理解に苦しむ。

Some people claim that revision of Article 96 will allow a person in power to revise the Constitution as easily as ordinary laws. Isn’t this rather simplistic?
 96条改正が実現すると、時の権力者が憲法を一般の法律並みに改正できるかのような論法もある。短絡的に過ぎないか。

 ◆自衛隊の規定が必要だ

Article 9 also is a major point of contention.
 9条も重要な論点だ。

The LDP’s draft, released last year, for revising the supreme law calls for keeping the war-renouncing principle of Article 9 intact, while deleting its second paragraph, which prohibits this country from possessing any war potential. Instead, it calls for newly including a provision in Article 9 for establishment of a “military force for defense” and the state’s obligations for securing the nation’s territorial integrity in cooperation with the public.
自民党の改正草案は、9条の平和主義は堅持しつつ、戦力不保持の2項を削り、「国防軍」設置や領土の保全義務を新たに規定するとした。

Define status of SDF

Abe has stated, “Although the SDF are regarded by other countries as a military force, in this country they are not,” adding, “It is unreasonable for a large-scale organization of forces to have no status in the eyes of the Constitution.” Abe’s argument is reasonable.
 首相が、「自衛隊は外国では軍隊と認識され、日本では軍隊ではないと言っている。大きな実力組織が憲法にないのはおかしい」と主張するのは至極当然である。

Revision of Article 9 is vitally important to deepen the Japan-U.S. alliance as well as to increase Japan’s participation in such international cooperation activities as U.N.-mandated peacekeeping operations.
 9条の改正は、日米同盟を深化し、国連平和維持活動(PKO)など国際的な活動に積極的に参加するうえでも欠かせない。

In this connection, it is a major development that Komeito in its upper house election pledges has said the party’s stand of “reinforcing the postwar Constitution by adding new ideas and articles to the supreme law” does include studies about the wisdom of having the existence of the SDF explicitly stipulated by the Constitution.
 公明党が、憲法の内容は変えずに新たな理念・条文を加える「加憲」を主張し、その中に自衛隊の存在の明記も検討すると公約したのは大きな前進だ。

Ishin no Kai, for its part, has been advocating the need for constitutional revisions “for the sake of solidly establishing the nation’s own security system on the basis of its right to self-defense.”
 維新の会は、「自衛権に基づく自立した安全保障体制確立」に憲法改正が必要と唱えている。

Another opposition party, People’s Life Party, insists that the legal basis for the SDF’s participation in U.N. peacekeeping missions must be clearly laid down.
 生活の党は自衛隊がPKOに参加する根拠を定めるという。

In contrast, the JCP and the SDP have been dead set against any changes to Article 9, arguing that alteration of the article would be tantamount to “turning Japan into a country that could wage war.”
 共産党や社民党は9条改正について「日本を戦争する国に作り替える」と反対している。

It is undoubtedly irresponsible to affix an extremely negative label to parties favoring constitutional revision without squarely facing up to reality. The aim is to unnecessarily stir voters’ anxieties.
 現実を直視せず、極端なレッテル貼りで有権者の不安をあおるのは無責任である。

People’s Life Party leader Ichiro Ozawa, JCP Executive Committee Chairman Kazuo Shii and SDP head Mizuho Fukushima have criticized the LDP’s revision draft because it seeks to delete Article 97, which stipulates the inviolability of basic human rights.
 憲法を巡っては、自民党の改正草案が、基本的人権の不可侵性をうたった97条を削除していることを、生活の党の小沢代表や共産党の志位委員長、社民党の福島党首がやり玉に挙げた。

It seems they are keen to give the public the impression that the LDP is poised to crack down on basic human rights.
 自民党案がいかにも基本的人権を軽視しているかのような印象を与えたかったのだろう。

In a rebuttal, Abe has stressed his party has no intention at all to change the fundamental principles of the Constitution, explaining that in the LDP draft Article 11 “absorbs” Article 97. Article 11 contains provisions that have the same effect as Article 97. Therefore, there seems to be no major problem.
 安倍首相は、基本原則は変えていないと強調し、同趣旨の条文がある11条に「吸収させた」と説明した。それならば、大きな問題ではないのではないか。

Readiness for emergencies
 ◆緊急事態への対処も

Ishin no Kai, Your Party and other parties that are seeking to drastically reform the government structure through revisions of the Constitution have referred to the advisability of creating a system that allows for election of the prime minister by popular vote.
 憲法改正で統治機構の仕組みを抜本的に変えることを主張する維新の会やみんなの党は、いずれも首相公選制に言及している。

A plebiscite for choosing the prime minister, however, could end up as a mere popularity contest. Israel introduced a referendum system for electing the prime minister in 1996, but abolished it in 2001 because of the resulting political turmoil.
 だが、首相公選制は人気投票になりかねない。イスラエルでは導入後政治が混乱し、撤廃した。

The LDP, Your Party and People’s Life Party, meanwhile, have proposed that new provisions be incorporated into the Constitution concerning such contingencies as a massive natural disaster and terrorist attacks.
 自民、みんな、生活の各党は、大規模な自然災害やテロといった緊急事態に関する条項を盛り込むことを提案している。

There must be no stinting in drawing up legal preparations to cope with such possible calamities as an epicentral earthquake focused just below the Tokyo metropolitan area and a mega-quake such as a Nankai Trough earthquake.
首都直下地震や、南海トラフ巨大地震などへの法的な備えは怠れない。

Revision of the Constitution should also take the possibility of these national crises into account. Constitutional discussions must be deepened from this point of view.
 国家の危機的状況も想定した憲法でありたい。こうした観点からの議論も深めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 14, 2013)
(2013年7月14日01時56分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-07-16 11:10 | 英字新聞

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