(社説)安保法案の採決強行 戦後の歩み覆す暴挙

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 16
EDITORIAL: Japan’s postwar progress outrageously reversed
(社説)安保法案の採決強行 戦後の歩み覆す暴挙

The ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe railroaded a package of controversial security bills through a Lower House special committee on July 15.
 安倍政権が、衆院の特別委員会で安全保障関連法案の採決を強行した。

For Abe, getting the bills passed by the committee represents a step forward toward in delivering on his promise to enact the legislation by this summer. He made the pledge during his April 29 address to a joint meeting of the U.S. House and Senate.
 安倍首相にとっては、米議会で約束した法整備の「夏までの成就」に近づいたことになる。

Even now, however, it cannot be said that the package of bills is widely understood by the Japanese public.
 だが、ここに至ってもなお、法案に対する国民の納得は広がっていない。

That’s hardly surprising. As the Diet spent more time on debating them, more contradictions in the legislation came to light, raising fresh doubts.
 それはそうだろう。審議を重ねれば重ねるほど法案の矛盾があらわになり、疑問が膨らむ。

The situation was so miserable that even Abe himself had to admit, shortly before the vote, that public understanding of the legislation has not advanced much.
首相自身が採決直前になっても「国民の理解が進んでいる状況ではない」と認めざるを得ないほどの惨状である。

CHALLENGE TO DEMOCRACY
 ■民主主義への挑戦

Yet, the Abe administration plowed on regardless. The ruling camp used its parliamentary majority to get its way, even though the bills have been judged to be “unconstitutional” by many members of the public, constitutional scholars, former chiefs of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau and a wide range of other experts.
This is an outrageous action that takes a majority force’s arrogance and irresponsibility to the extreme.
 政権はそれでも採決を押し切った。多くの国民、憲法学者や弁護士、内閣法制局長官OB、幅広い分野の有識者らが「憲法違反」と認める法案を数の力で押し通す。多数のおごりと無責任が極まった暴挙である。

This move is not just a rebellion against constitutionalism, which in essence means that the government’s power is defined and limited by the Constitution. It is also a serious challenge to the value of the democratic system Japan has been building up during the 70 years since the end of World War II.
 それは憲法が権力を縛る立憲主義への反逆にとどまらない。戦後日本が70年かけて積み上げてきた民主主義の価値に対する、重大な挑戦ではないか。

Let us keep in our memory a statement Abe repeated in the process of the deliberations on the proposed legislation.
 審議の過程で、首相が繰り返した言葉を記憶にとどめたい。

“After mature and exhaustive debate, the decision should be made when the time is ripe for the decision. That is the proper way of parliamentary democracy.”
 「熟議を尽くしたうえで、決める時には決める。これは議会制民主主義の王道であろう」

But we must say that if Diet deliberations are not intended as a serious effort to build a consensus with the public and are evaluated only by the amount of time spent, they cannot qualify as “mature debate.”
 だが、国民との合意形成に意を尽くそうとせず、ただ時間の長さだけで測る国会審議を「熟議」とは呼べない。

Even though it won a parliamentary majority in the last election, the ruling camp has no right to contravene the basic principles of the Constitution like pacifism and challenge the fundamental values of democracy by making such a vital security policy decision on the basis of “a majority vote without mature debate.”
 選挙で多数を得たからと言って、「熟議なき多数決」によって、平和主義をはじめとする憲法の理念、民主主義の価値をひっくり返す。

If that is the Abe administration’s approach to democracy, we can never support it.
 それが安倍政権の民主主義だというなら、決してくみすることはできない。

Let us look back on the Abe administration’s track record to date.
 これまでの安倍政権の歩みを振り返ってみよう。

Prior to the Cabinet decision last summer to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, the administration established its own National Security Council, which makes it possible for a small number of ministers to make security policy decisions. At the same time, the administration went ahead with the controversial state secrets protection law.
 集団的自衛権の行使を認める昨夏の閣議決定に先立ち、少人数の閣僚だけで安全保障上の意思決定ができるようにする国家安全保障会議(NSC)を発足させた。あわせて成立させたのが特定秘密保護法だ。

If the national security legislation is enacted, the government will be able to make decisions on the use of weapons by the Self-Defense Forces anywhere on the earth, even if Japan is not under attack. And the decisions can be made in a process that is not subject to public or parliamentary scrutiny.
 法案が成立すれば、国民や国会の目が届かない場で、日本に対する攻撃がなくても、地球のどこでも自衛隊による武力行使に踏み込む判断ができる。

Such decisions will be based merely on a “comprehensive judgment” by the prime minister and a small number of other Cabinet members.
 よりどころとなるのは首相や一握りの閣僚らによる「総合的な判断」である。

While the government will have broad discretion in making security policy decisions, there will be no legal guarantee of sufficient involvement in the decision-making process even by the Diet.
政権に幅広い裁量がゆだねられ、国民の代表である国会の関与すら十分に担保されていない。

There have been other episodes that help illustrate the Abe administration’s views about democracy, which clearly put the state before the people and public interest before individual interest.
 国民より国家。個人より公。
 そんな安倍政権の民主主義観がうかがえる出来事はほかにもある。

In one such episode that is still fresh in our memory, the Liberal Democratic Party made a series of intimidating remarks that raised concerns about freedom of expression. One ruling party lawmaker called for “punishing” the news media and said, “advertisers should voluntarily boycott media that are misleading Japan.”
 記憶に新しいのは「マスコミを懲らしめる」「国を過(あやま)てるような報道をするマスコミには広告を自粛すべきだ」など、表現の自由にかかわる自民党議員の一連の報道威圧発言だ。

GROWING THREATS TO FREEDOM
 ■相次ぐ自由への威圧

The LDP also called into question the appropriateness of specific programs aired by Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) and TV Asahi, and summoned executives of these broadcasters for questioning. Prior to last year’s Lower House election, the party sent letters to TV broadcasters urging them to ensure “fair and neutral” reporting on the election.
 NHKやテレビ朝日の特定番組を問題視し、事情聴取に呼びつける。衆院選の際には各局に「公平中立、公正の確保」を求める文書を送りつける。

This is not an issue for news organizations alone. Regulating freedom of expression and freedom of speech could lead to restrictions on the people’s right to know. That would be tantamount to trampling on the rights of the people as a whole.
 報道機関だけの問題ではない。表現の自由、言論の自由を規制することは、国民の「知る権利」の制限につながる。国民全体に対する権利の侵害にほかならないのだ。

The education minister has urged national universities to make sure that the national flag is hoisted and the anthem sung during ceremonies. The LDP has also turned up the heat on teachers in response to the scheduled lowering of the voting age to 18. The party has put strong pressure on teachers to maintain “political neutrality” with the threat of punishment.
 国立大学の式典での国旗掲揚や国歌斉唱を文部科学相が要請した。18歳選挙権に向けて若者への主権者教育に取り組もうという教師たちに、罰則をちらつかせて「政治的な中立性」を求める自民党の動きもあった。

Freedom of expression and academic freedom mean that activities like news reporting, academic research and education can be pursued freely without any restriction or intervention by the government.
These freedoms, which are the foundations of healthy democracy, are now threatened by people who control permit and license rights as well as public funds.
 権力に縛られることなく自由に報道し、研究し、教育する。健全な民主主義をはぐくむ基盤である表現や学問の自由に対し、許認可権やカネを背景に威圧する事態が進んでいる。

Ruling party heavyweight Shigeru Ishiba, minister in charge of revitalizing local economies, recently stated that the LDP will "face a crisis when people increasingly begin to feel that there is something obnoxious (about the party)."
But it is the people’s freedom and rights that are facing a crisis.
 石破地方創生相は「『なんか感じ悪いよね』という国民の意識が高まった時に、自民党は危機を迎える」と語ったが、危機を迎えているのは国民の自由や権利の方ではないか。

The draft proposal to rewrite the Constitution that the LDP decided on three years ago, when it was in opposition, contains an element that symbolically suggests the party’s basic stance toward these democratic values.
 自民党が野党だった3年前に決めた憲法改正草案に、その底流が象徴的に表れている。

The draft would set certain conditions for freedom of expression that is completely and unconditionally guaranteed by the Constitution. It says, “Activities aimed at harming public interest and public order” shall not be allowed.
 草案は、一切の表現の自由を保障した現憲法に「公益及び公の秩序を害することを目的とした活動」は認められない、とした例外を付け加えている。

GAME NOT OVER YET
 ■決着はついていない

As Abe and other top policymakers in the ruling camp say, some significant changes have occurred in the international environment surrounding Japan. This includes China’s rise as a major power.
 中国の台頭をはじめ、国際環境が変化しているのは首相らが言う通りだ。

And, quite rightly, political leaders are responsible for considering new security policy responses to such changes.
それに応じた安全保障政策を検討することも、確かに「政治の責任」だ。

If, as a result of such a policy review, policymakers believe Japan needs to be allowed to exercise the right to collective self-defense or to provide logistic support to the forces of other countries as part of its international contribution, political leaders should first explain their views to the public and then seek to amend the Constitution through formal procedures, which would entail holding a national referendum on the issue.
That is how this radical shift in security policy should be carried out in our democracy.
 ただ、その結果として集団的自衛権の行使が必要なら、あるいは国際貢献策として他国軍への後方支援が必要と考えるなら、まず国民に説明し、国民投票を含む憲法改正の手続きを踏むことが、民主主義国として避けて通れぬ筋道である。

Ignoring this rule seriously undermines the very foundation for Japan’s identity as a country under the rule of law.
 これを無視しては、法治国家としての基盤が崩れる。

We cannot accept the Abe administration’s mistaken views about democracy, which seems to assume that the majority force can do whatever it likes.
 法案をこのまま成立させ、「多数派が絶対」という安倍政権の誤った民主主義観を追認することはできない。

The battle is not over yet. We call on the Abe administration to pay serious attention to the voices of the people with whom sovereign power resides instead of paying lip service to the importance of “mature debate.”
 まだ決着したわけではない。口先だけの「熟議」ではなく、主権者である国民の声を聞くことを安倍政権に求める。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2015-07-17 12:21 | 英字新聞

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