(社説)防衛省の隠蔽 良心はどこへいった

April 26, 2014
EDITORIAL: Bullying cover-up casts doubts on the Defense Ministry’s moral integrity
(社説)防衛省の隠蔽 良心はどこへいった

A cover-up scandal concerning the 2004 suicide of a Maritime Self-Defense Force seaman has brought to the fore the Defense Ministry’s willingness to go to any length to keep embarrassing facts in the dark.
 都合の悪い文書は組織をあげて隠す。それを内部告発する者は徹底攻撃する。そんな防衛省の姿が浮かび上がった。

The ministry appears determined to sweep any inconvenient documents under the carpet through organization-wide efforts and relentlessly attack any whistle-blowers.
 海上自衛隊の男性隊員の自殺をめぐり、先輩のいじめを示す証拠を同省が隠蔽(いんぺい)していたと、東京高裁が認定した。

On April 23, the Tokyo High Court acknowledged the deliberate concealment of internal documents that showed the seaman of the MSDF destroyer Tachikaze was bullied by a senior officer.
The existence of the documents came to light only after a lieutenant commander exposed the cover-up by submitting a statement to the high court, saying the MSDF was hiding the documents.
 そんな証拠があることは、裁判を担った海自の3等海佐が暴露し明らかになった。

If the lieutenant commander had not acted, the organization’s failure to stop the bullying would have never become known to the public.
それがなかったら、いじめを放置した組織の責任は闇に葬られていた。

Despite being an organization whose mission is to protect the lives of people, the ministry made every effort to obscure the truth in order to protect itself, without reflecting on the seriousness of the loss of a life.
 人命を守るべき組織でありながら、命が失われた重みを顧みずにひたすら自らの防衛に腐心したのである。

The ministry clearly needs to do some soul-searching. It should carry out an immediate and exhaustive investigation into the case to find out who ordered the concealment of the documents and who knew the facts, and then publish the findings.
 猛省するほかあるまい。誰が隠蔽を指示し、その事実を誰が知っていたのか。早急に徹底調査し、公表すべきだ。

The concealed documents were the results of a survey covering all 190 crew members of the Tachikaze to see whether bullying was a factor in the seaman’s suicide. They also included records of comments made by crew members who knew what happened and were interviewed as part of the ministry’s in-house inquiry.
 隠されたのは、男性が所属した護衛艦の乗組員たちにいじめの有無を聞いたアンケートや、事情にくわしい乗組員に聞き取ったメモだ。

The victim’s family filed a freedom-of-information request for the survey results, but the MSDF denied their existence.
 遺族は情報公開法に基づいて開示を請求したが、海自は存在しないとして応じなかった。

There is no way to have specific information held by an organization disclosed if the organization claims there is no such information.
 情報をもつ側が「ない」と突っぱねれば、情報公開は成り立たない。

The controversial state secrets protection law will come into force by the end of this year amid serious concerns about the disclosure situation in this country.
そんな実態がある中で年内に特定秘密保護法が施行される。

The law will make it even more likely that information inconvenient to the government will remain undisclosed to the public. This prospect is really distressing.
当局に不都合な情報はいっそう闇にとどまるだろう。暗然たる気持ちになる。

The only ray of hope in the whole depressing episode is the conscientious act of the lieutenant commander who prevented the scandal from being hushed up.
 救いといえば、3佐の良心が、それを許さなかったことだ。

Revealing the existence of the evidence before the court of appeal was a courageous deed that jeopardized his position within the organization.
控訴審で証拠の存在を明らかにしたことは、組織人としての立場を賭した、勇気ある行いだった。

The government, however, criticized his remarks as untrustworthy during hearings of the high court.
 しかし、控訴審で国側はその発言を「信用できない」と批判した。

There must be a considerable number of people within the MSDF who were actually privy to the cover-up. But no one but the lieutenant commander came forward to tell the truth.
実際には、少なからぬ関係者が隠蔽を知っていたはずだが、その3佐以外、誰も真実を語ろうとしなかった。

The Defense Ministry even considered punishing the officer. That’s simply an outrageous response to his honorable act.
 同省は3佐の懲戒処分も検討したという。言語道断の対応というほかない。

It is not the whistle-blower, but the people who tried to conceal the information who should be punished.
処分が必要なのは告発者ではなく、情報隠しをした側である。

The ministry should promise not to treat the lieutenant commander unfairly.
告発した3佐を不当に扱うことはしないと約束すべきだ。

Ten years have already passed since the seaman committed suicide. If the survey had been disclosed earlier, the trial would not have taken so long, and the lessons from the incident might have been used for the efforts to root out bullying within the SDF.
 男性の自殺からすでに10年がたっている。アンケートが早く明らかになっていれば、裁判は長引かなかったし、その教訓は自衛隊内のいじめ防止などに生かせたかもしれない。

There is a winner and a loser for every trial. When the government is the defendant, however, it should not focus simply on winning the case.
 ふつうの裁判に勝敗はつきものだが、国が当事者の場合、勝てばいいというものではないはずだ。

The government, which exists to serve the public interest, is responsible for offering all evidence that can help clarify the truth during the trial.
真実に近づく証拠を裁判で示すことが、公益の側に立つ政府の責任ではないか。

For any public entity, the cause of social justice should be of more value than its own organization. The Defense Ministry needs to take this obvious principle to heart.
 どんな公的組織であれ、その組織自体よりも大切に守るべき社会の正義というものがある。防衛省はその当たり前の原則を肝に銘じるべきだ。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 26
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2014-04-28 08:22 | 英字新聞

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