秘密保護法案 指定対象絞り「原則公開」確実に

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 28, 2013
Scope of secrecy must be narrowed; more Diet discussions needed
秘密保護法案 指定対象絞り「原則公開」確実に(11月27日付・読売社説)

 ◆参院で文書管理の論議を深めよ

The House of Representatives’ passage of a bill to tighten the confidentiality of specified government information can be regarded as a clear indication that many legislators believe this country needs such legislation comparable to what has already been enacted in other advanced nations.
 日本にも他の先進国と同様の機密保全法制が必要だとの意思が、明確に示されたと言えよう。

The bill is designed to tighten penalties on public servants and others who leak classified information related to national security. On Tuesday, the legislation was laid before a plenary session of the lower house, which approved it with the endorsement of a significant 70 percent of lawmakers in that chamber—those from the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, as well as Your Party and some other legislators. The bill was then forwarded to the House of Councillors for further discussions.
 安全保障に関する機密情報を漏えいした公務員らへの罰則を強化する特定秘密保護法案が、衆院本会議に緊急上程され、自民、公明の与党とみんなの党など議席の7割もの賛成多数で可決、参院に送付された。

Members of the opposition Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) left the chamber before the bill was put to a vote, despite its earlier agreement to support the legislation if some modifications were incorporated into it. Ishin no Kai was antagonized by the governing coalition’s decision to vote on the bill Tuesday instead of going along with its calls for more discussions.
 法案修正で合意していた日本維新の会は採決に反発し、退席した。

Although Ishin no Kai regrettably refused to vote in favor of the bill, we find it commendable that the legislation passed the lower house with the backing of many lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition parties.
維新の会が賛成票を投じなかったのは残念だが、与野党の枠を超えた多くの支持によって、衆院を通過したことは評価できる。

Japan NSC comes into play
 ◆日本版NSCと両輪だ

Still, debates on revisions to the initial bill—an amendment drafted by the ruling parties, Your Party and Ishin no Kai—were far from sufficient. It is also a stretch to say that public anxiety about the nature of the bill has been laid to rest, as shown by the widespread fear that the legislation could restrict the people’s right to know.
 ただ、与党とみんな、維新がまとめた修正案に対する審議は十分ではない。「知る権利」が制限されることなどへの国民の懸念が払拭されたとも言い難い。

The government and the ruling parties should carefully explain how the envisaged law would be applied in actuality during upper house debates on it, with the aim of gaining broad support for it.
 政府・与党は参院審議で、幅広い支持を目指し、制度の運用のあり方も丁寧に説明すべきだ。

Japan’s security environment has become even more difficult in recent years due to such factors as North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and China’s growing military build-up.
 北朝鮮の核・ミサイル開発や中国の軍備拡大など日本の安全保障環境は厳しさを増している。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had every reason to tell a session of the lower house Special Committee on National Security that “information gathering is critical for defending the safety of the people.”
 衆院国家安全保障特別委員会で、安倍首相が「国民の安全を守るため情報収集が極めて重要だ」と述べたのはもっともだ。

The Abe administration intends to establish a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council that would play a central role in issuing directives related to Japan’s diplomatic relations and national security. Every nation needs to refine its legal framework to ensure none of its secrets are leaked. This is essential for promoting efforts to exchange and share critical information among allies and friendly powers.
 安倍政権は、外交・安全保障政策の司令塔となる国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)を創設する方針だ。同盟国や友好国と重要情報の交換・共有を進めるには、機密が漏えいしない法制を整えることが必要である。

Given this, the envisaged NSC and legislation for preserving the secrecy of crucial information are inseparable when it comes to the government’s strategic decision-making function.
 日本版NSCと機密保全法制は、政府の戦略的な意思決定に欠かせない車の両輪と言える。

The most contentious issue debated in connection with the bill was how the government would actually apply the envisaged law. During debates in the lower house, legislators said it would be impossible to dispel the anxiety that the government could arbitrarily expand the scope of information to be designated under the legislation, thus making it possible to keep concealing such secrets.
 法案を巡る最大の論点は、政府が恣意(しい)的に秘密指定を拡大し、都合の悪い情報を秘匿し続けるという懸念が拭えないことだった。

The prime minister brushed off that assertion as a mistaken notion about the bill. He insisted that the legislation would be used as a multilayered system by which the government would be prevented from making arbitrary decisions about designating information as secret. Steps to be taken for that purpose include limiting the scope of designation to items stated in a table attached to the bill, and setting standards for secrecy designation based on the opinions of experts.
 首相は、それを誤解だとし、指定範囲が法案の別表に限定され、かつ指定基準も有識者の意見に基づくなど恣意性を排除する「重層的な仕組み」だと主張した。

Information to be classified under the legislation would be removed—as a general rule—from the list of secrets 30 years after its designation. The modified bill stipulates the term of designation for each secret could be renewed by consent of the cabinet, but that the ultimate period would not exceed 60 years, except for areas of critical importance, including secret codes used by the government and sources of confidential information.
 特定秘密は原則30年で解除される。内閣の承認を得て指定が継続されたとしても、暗号や情報源など7項目の例外を除いて「60年は超えられない」と修正された。

The prime minister told the lower house that information whose designation period could be extended beyond 30 years would be limited, as a general rule, to these seven areas.
 首相は、30年を超えて指定を継続する情報は「7項目に限ることを基本とする」とも表明した。

Debates on the bill in the lower house certainly did much to clarify the government’s thinking about how to apply the law, and also imposed tighter limits on the duration of secrecy designation.
 審議を通じて、政府の考え方が明確になり、指定期間もより限定的になったのは確かだろう。

Fend off arbitrary judgment
 ◆恣意的判断の排除を

Nonetheless, bureaucratic organizations, with their ingrained principle of not rocking the boat, are expected to broaden the range of documents subject to protection as specifically designated secrets and become more cautious about declassifying them.
 それでも官僚機構は、「事なかれ主義」の発想で秘密指定の対象を拡大し、解除にも慎重になることが予想される。

Presently, the government possesses about 420,000 documents containing specially managed secrets. Ninety percent of these documents are said to be related to Japan’s information-gathering satellites. The government should narrow down the range of classified information to be protected when it transfers documents into the category of specifically designated secrets.
 現在、政府が保有する特別管理秘密文書は42万件に上っている。その9割は日本の情報収集衛星に関する情報だというが、特定秘密に移行する際は、さらに対象範囲を絞る努力をすべきである。

If the number of specifically designated secrets grows too large, it would be physically difficult to check every piece of classified information and to declassify them should “the heads of administrative organizations” be replaced through a change of government or a cabinet reshuffle. It is important to work out a structure that prevents bureaucrats from hanging on to specifically designated secrets for too long.
 特定秘密が大量になれば、政権交代や内閣改造によって「行政機関の長」が代わっても、秘密指定をいちいちチェックし、解除することは、物理的に難しい。官僚が特定秘密を抱え込まない仕組みを工夫することも肝要だ。

During a Diet session, Abe went so far as to say the government should establish a “third-party body” that would examine the appropriateness of the designation of documents branded as secret. He referred to such organizations as the Information Security Oversight Office within the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
 秘密指定の妥当性を検証する「第三者機関」設置について、首相は、米国の国立公文書館にある情報保全監督局などを参考に、「設置すべきだと考えている」と踏み込んだ答弁をした。

It would be unreasonable for specifically designated secrets to be examined by people outside the organization. It would also give rise to the danger of information leaks. If a third-party organization is to be set up, it would be proper to have an internal unit within an administrative organization do the job, modeled on the setup in the United States.
 部外者が特定秘密をチェックするのは無理がある。情報漏れのリスクも生じる。第三者機関を設けるならば、米国にならって、行政の内部組織の方が適切だ。

According to the modified bill, all secret documents that have been declassified “are to be made public, in principle” after a certain period. This modification is an improvement that will enable future generations to examine these documents.
 修正案で、秘密が解除された情報は一定期間後に「原則公開」とされ、後世の検証が可能になるように改善されたと見ていい。

How such documents should be made public, stored or destroyed are major issues to be resolved. The Democratic Party of Japan asserted that certain rules should be established on information disclosure so that courts will be able to look at specific documents when handling a lawsuit that involves classified information. We think this proposal has some merit.
 文書の公開や保存、廃棄のあり方は大きな課題となる。民主党が主張するように情報公開のルールを整備し、機密を巡る訴訟で裁判所が対象文書を見ることを可能にするのも一案ではないか。

As to the Diet’s involvement in specifically designated secrets, the ruling and opposition parties should stipulate such matters as the management of closed meetings through lawmaker-initiated legislation.
 国会の特定秘密への関与については、与野党が秘密会の運営など議員立法で規定すべきだ。

Protecting ‘right to know’
 ◆「知る権利」どう担保

The bill also clearly gave some consideration to the freedom of news gathering and reporting. We welcome the fact that news gathering activity by people in the media will not be considered a crime unless it is conducted illegally or extremely improperly.
 法案には、取材・報道の自由への配慮が明記された。報道関係者の取材行為は違法または著しく不当でない限り、罪に問われないとした点は前向きに評価できる。

Some opposition parties have been up in arms and claimed this bill “will cover the people’s eyes and ears and muzzle their mouths” and “control the state’s information and silence any criticism of the Japan-U.S. alliance.” But such fears are off the mark.
 一部の野党がこの法案を「国民の目と耳、口をふさぐ」「国家の情報を統制し、日米同盟への批判を封じ込める」と声高に非難しているが、これは的外れである。

That being said, there is a danger that public servants will become so afraid of leaks that they will reject requests for interviews, making it harder for the media to share necessary information with the public.
 だが、公務員が萎縮して取材に応じず、報道機関が必要な情報を伝えられなくなる恐れは残る。

How should the protection of classified information for national security be balanced with the people’s “right to know”? This topic also needs in-depth discussion in the upper house.
 安全保障のための機密保全と、「知る権利」のバランスをどうとっていくか。この問題も参院で掘り下げるべきテーマだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 27, 2013)
(2013年11月27日02時13分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-11-29 07:29 | 英字新聞

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