安倍首相へ あなたの憲法なのか

--The Asahi Shimbun, March 4
EDITORIAL: The Constitution is not Abe’s plaything
(社説)安倍首相へ あなたの憲法なのか

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continues to show his ardent ambition to amend Japan’s postwar Constitution.
 安倍首相が、憲法改正で踏み込んだ発言を続けている。

At a recent Upper House Budget Committee session, Abe voiced his desire to bring pro-amendment forces together for the two-thirds majority in both house of the Diet required to initiate the process for constitutional amendments, which includes a national referendum. He then indicated a time frame for achieving the goal.
“I want to amend the Constitution while I am still in office,” he said.
 改憲案を国民投票にかけるのに必要な3分の2以上の議席確保をめざす考えに続き、先の参院予算委員会では「私の在任中に成し遂げたいと考えている」と、期限まで示した。

Politicians are expected to talk about their policy goals.
 政治家だから、自らの政治目標を語ることは一般的にはあるだろう。

But there is serious confusion of priorities in Abe’s agenda for constitutional amendments.
しかし、憲法へのの態度にはあべこべがある。

One problem is how he intends to rewrite the Constitution.
 ひとつは改憲の進め方だ。

He says he will first seek to secure a two-thirds majority for pro-amendment politicians in both Diet houses. When asked which part of the Constitution he wants to change, however, he has repeatedly said that each party should make its own proposal for debate at the Commission on the Constitution of both houses.
 首相はまず3分の2の勢力を集めたいという。では憲法のどこをどう変えるのかと問われると、「各党が(案を)出して、(国会の)憲法審査会で議論していくことが求められている」と繰り返す。

This is tantamount to saying he just wants to make any amendment to the Constitution, starting where there is the least resistance.
 何でもいいから変えたい、やりやすいところからやりたい。こう言っているに等しい。

Abe’s approach to this policy challenge probably reflects his long-held wish to recreate the Constitution, which was “imposed” on Japan by the United States.
 背景には、米国に「押しつけられた」憲法を、自らの手で制定し直したいとの思いがあるのだろう。

It is true that political discourse on the Constitution during the postwar era has been dominated by the amendment issue.
戦後の憲法論争が「変える」「変えない」を焦点にしてきたのも確かだ。

We can understand arguments to revise specific parts of the Constitution to correct perceived shortcomings.
 憲法のここが不都合だから、こう正したい、そんな議論なら分かる。

But if Abe’s campaign for constitutional amendments puts priority on rewriting the document itself, then he is putting the cart before the horse.
だが、「とにかく変える」ことが何よりも先だというなら、順序が逆さまだ。

Abe’s interest in protecting the Constitution stands in sharp contrast to his solid commitment to revising it. This is another example of his misplaced priorities.
 一方、首相は改憲への意欲に比べ、憲法を守ることにはこだわりがないようだ。もうひとつのあべこべである。

Abe has overturned the government’s traditional interpretation of the Constitution regarding Japan’s right to collective self-defense.
Only through discussions within his administration, Abe has thrown away the official government position, endorsed by successive Cabinets, that Japan must amend war-renouncing Article 9 if it wants to take part in collective self-defense.
 憲法を改正しなければ集団的自衛権の行使はできないとの歴代内閣の解釈を、内部の議論だけで覆してしまう。

Despite repeated calls by the Supreme Court for reapportionment of Diet seats to realize equality in vote value, Abe has been trying to postpone taking necessary steps to tackle the problem.
最高裁から定数配分を見直し、投票価値の平等を実現するよう繰り返し求められても、先送りを図る。

More recently, Abe has refused to reprove communications minister Sanae Takaichi for her assertion that the government can legally shut down broadcasters that continue to air “biased political reports.”
 最近は、高市総務相が放送法などをたてにテレビ局の電波停止の可能性に触れ、首相もこれを容認した。

A group of experts, including Yoichi Higuchi, professor emeritus of the Constitution at the University of Tokyo, said at a news conference in Tokyo on March 2 that it would be unconstitutional for Takaichi to take such a move based solely on the Broadcast Law’s Article 4, which requires political fairness and neutrality in broadcasting.
 これには樋口陽一・東大名誉教授らが、「政治的公平」などを定めた放送法の文言だけを根拠に処分を行うのは違憲だとの見解を表明している。

“The basic principle of a free democratic society that any person cannot appoint themselves as court judges about matters they are involved in is important,” Higuchi said of Takaichi’s claim.
 樋口氏は「何人(なんぴと)も自分自身が関わっている事柄について裁判官となってはならない」と批判する。

By this comment Higuchi meant politicians are not entitled to determine the definition of political fairness.
何が政治的公平かを政治家が判断することはおかしい、との指摘である。

The Constitution imposes various restraints on the government’s power to prevent violations of people’s rights, such as freedom of expression.
 憲法は、表現の自由など国民の権利がおかされないよう、権力に様々な制約を課している。

But the Abe administration has shown a disturbing tendency to disregard these restraints without much hesitation.
ところが安倍政権は、こうした制約を乗り越えてしまうことに、あまりにためらいがない。

The administration’s lack of respect for the Constitution seems to be behind its anything-is-good attitude regarding its constitutional amendment agenda.
 憲法を軽んじる姿勢が、中身はともかく改憲をという態度につながっているのではないか。

Abe is part of the government, whose power and authority is defined and limited by the Constitution. He must understand that the Constitution is not the possession of the person who is in power.
 安倍首相は憲法によって縛られる側にいる。憲法は、権力者たるあなたのものではない。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-03-06 13:44 | 英字新聞

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