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zoom RSS 参院選 論戦スタートへ 語られざる「改憲」を問う

<<   作成日時 : 2016/06/04 12:01   >>

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--The Asahi Shimbun, June 3
EDITORIAL: Amending the Constitution is hidden focus of Upper House poll
(社説)参院選 論戦スタートへ 語られざる「改憲」を問う

The focus of attention in the political community has shifted to the July 10 Upper House election as the brouhaha over the consumption tax hike and the possibility of simultaneous Upper and Lower House elections has blown over.
Debate on key policy issues at the Diet was drowned out in the political noise in the final days of this year’s regular session.
 消費増税と衆参同日選の行方が注目された会期末の喧噪(けんそう)が去り、政界は7月10日投票の参院選に向け一斉に走り出した。

What topics will Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other politicians address during their election campaigns?
 この選挙で、安倍首相はじめ政治家たちは何を語るのか。

Abe has cast his economic policy, or Abenomics, as the central issue of the election and expressed his intention to seek a public mandate for his recent decision to postpone the scheduled consumption tax increase.
 首相は「アベノミクス」を最大の争点とし、消費増税先送りの判断について国民の信を問いたいという。

Voters will naturally consider these issues at the polls. But they don’t have to focus only on the issues played up by the administration.
 投票にあたってそれを考慮に入れるにしても、政権の一方的な争点設定に縛られる必要はない。

One important topic requires careful attention by voters although politicians are not eager to discuss it. That is constitutional amendments.
むしろ政治家があまり語ろうとしないことにこそ、細心の注意を払うべき論点がある。
 憲法改正である。

Abe has said his key target for the Upper House election is securing a two-thirds majority for his Liberal Democratic Party, its junior coalition partner, Komeito, and other parties willing to support his initiative to amend the Constitution.
 安倍首相は、参院選で自民、公明だけでなく改憲に前向きな政党を含めて3分の2の議席獲得をめざすと語っている。

If the target is reached, Abe will have a much better chance of proceeding with his plan to get the Diet to initiate constitutional amendments, through a concurring two-thirds vote of all the members of each chamber, for a national referendum on the proposed changes.
 実現すれば、衆参両院で憲法改正案を発議し、国民投票にかけることが、現実の政治日程にのぼる可能性が高まる。

That will, of course, be the first actual attempt to rewrite the postwar Constitution under the formal procedures for amendments.
 そうなればもちろん、戦後初めてのことだ。

The question of whether to hand an overwhelming two-thirds majority in both chambers to the Abe administration and its political allies is the biggest issue of the upcoming election, even though it is overshadowed by debate on the economy.
 安倍政権とその補完勢力に、衆参そろって3分の2の圧倒的な多数を与えるのかどうか。これが、経済に隠された参院選最大の焦点である。

The results of the election could put the nation at a major turning point in its postwar history.
 その結果は、戦後日本の分岐点となる重みを持つ。

FRESH DEBATE ON SECURITY LEGISLATION NEEDED
 ■安保法を問い直す

Let us look back on what happened in the Upper House, which is called “the Seat of Common Sense,” eight months ago.
 「良識の府」とも呼ばれる参議院。そこで8カ月前に起きたことを振り返ってみる。

At a Sept. 17 session of the special committee on the new national security legislation, committee members suddenly made a dash for the chairman’s seat, triggering a scuffle amid angry roars. From time to time, ruling camp lawmakers stood with both hands raised in response to cues. People watching the session on TV were clueless to what was occurring.
 安全保障関連法案を審議した昨年9月17日の特別委員会でのことだ。議員たちが突然、委員長席に駆け寄り、怒号の中でもみ合いが続く。合図を受けた与党議員が時折、両手を上げて立ちあがる。何が起こったのか、国民にはわからない。

This ugly scene was how the package of security bills, which effectively revises the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, was actually enacted.
 これが9条の実質的な改正に等しい安保法案の採決だった。

In June last year, three constitutional scholars told the Lower House Commission on the Constitution that the legislation is unconstitutional. Their comments led many lawmakers to subscribe to the view that the legislation violates the Constitution, causing a bitter division among the public.
 安保法案については、6月に3人の憲法学者が衆院憲法審査会で「違憲である」と表明。違憲論が国会の内外に広まり、世論は二分された。

The bills should have been carried over to the next Diet session for further debate. Instead of resorting to persuasion by reason, however, the Abe administration extended the session and used the power of a majority to engineer the forceful passage of the bills through the Diet in the face of strong opposition due to doubts about their constitutionality.
 本来は、次の国会に持ち越して議論を尽くすべきだった。なのに、会期延長の末に違憲論をねじ伏せたのは、理による説得でなく、数による強行だった。

The July Upper House poll will offer a great opportunity for fresh debate on the legislation.
 参院選は、この安保法制定を問い直す機会である。

CHANGES IN STANCE BEFORE AND AFTER ELECTIONS
 ■選挙の前後で違う顔

Since the beginning of this year, Abe has made clear his desire to embark on amending the Constitution after the Upper House election.
 安倍首相は年明けから、参院選後に明文改正に踏み込みたい意向を明らかにしてきた。

In January, he pledged in a Diet session to “create a new Constitution with our own hands.” The initiative “has entered the stage of a realistic possibility where discussions are to be held on which provisions should be amended,” he added.
 1月には「自らの手で新たな憲法をつくる。いよいよどの条項について改正すべきか、現実的な段階に移ってきた」と国会で答弁。

In the recent one-on-one Diet debate with Katsuya Okada, president of the Democratic Party, Abe challenged the largest opposition bloc to come up with its own draft amendments to the Constitution, saying there could be no meaningful debate on the topic unless the opposition party did so.
先の党首討論では民進党の岡田代表に「民進党も改正草案を出さなければ、議論のしようがない」と挑発した。

Abe spoke as if changing the Constitution was a given.
 まるで、憲法を変えるのは既定路線だと言わんばかりだ。

In contrast, other senior LDP politicians are not eager to pursue constitutional amendments.
 一方で、首相以外の自民党幹部の熱は低い。

The LDP’s headquarters to promote constitutional amendments has yet to start considering which provisions should be revised. The Lower House Commission on the Constitution didn’t begin substantial debate on the question in the latest Diet session.
 党の憲法改正推進本部は、どの条項を改正すべきかの議論には手をつけていない。衆院の憲法審査会も、先の国会での実質審議を見送った。

Behind its reluctance to wade into debate on the issue is the lack of solid public support to the initiative.
In an Asahi Shimbun survey, 55 percent of the respondents said there was no need to change the Constitution.
 なぜか。朝日新聞の世論調査では、憲法を「変える必要はない」という人は55%に達する。

Toshihiro Nikai, chairman of the LDP’s General Council, pretty much summed up the dominant sentiment within the ruling party when he said a single-minded pursuit of constitutional amendments would make it difficult for the party to win in the election.
「しゃにむに憲法改正の旗を振る姿勢を示したならば、選挙に勝てない」(二階総務会長)というのが党内の空気なのだ。

In the past two national elections, the Abe administration focused its campaign on economic issues that have a direct bearing on people’s livelihoods. The administration is adopting the same campaign strategy for this poll.
 安倍政権は、過去2回の国政選では国民生活に密接にかかわる経済を前面に掲げた。今回も同様だ。

But the administration drastically changed its political posturing after each of the past two elections.
 だが、これまでは選挙が終わると、安倍政権は顔を一変させてきた。

We should not forget the fact that the administration forged ahead with the passage of the state secrets protection law and the security legislation, which both directly concern such basic principles of the Constitution as the people’s right to know and pacifism, after these past elections.
特定秘密保護法に安保法。国民の知る権利や平和主義という憲法の根幹にかかわる法の制定に、一気に進んできたことを忘れてはならない。

THE REAL AIM OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT INITIATIVE?
 ■改憲の狙いはどこに

The Constitution, of course, will not be the only element voters will consider when they make their decisions at the polls in July. Policy issues that affect their daily lives are important factors for their choices that need to be weighed carefully.
 もちろん、有権者が参院選で投票する際の評価軸は、憲法ばかりではない。日々の暮らしにかかわる政策は重要な論点であり、十分な吟味が必要だ。

Let us then examine the economic planks on the parties’ campaign platforms. There aren’t radical differences between the LDP’s vision of a society where 100 million people will play active roles and the Democratic Party’s vision of a “society of symbiosis.” Many parties are proposing more or less similar policies concerning such issues as growth and redistribution, the same wage for same work principle and reducing the number of children on waiting lists for day-care centers.
 ただ、各党の主張をみてみよう。自民党の「1億総活躍」と民進党の「共生社会」、成長と分配、同一労働・同一賃金、待機児童の解消。多くの党が掲げる方向は同じだ。

Given the massive budget deficit and the contraction of the working population, there cannot be wide differences between the ruling and opposition parties in these policies.
財政赤字や労働人口の減少を考えれば、これらの政策に与野党の大きな違いを見いだすのは難しい。

On the other hand, the LDP’s constitutional amendment agenda could radically affect certain values we have enjoyed in the postwar era, such as peace and freedom.
 一方で、いま自民党内で語られている憲法改正論は、私たちが戦後、その恩恵を受けてきた平和や自由といった価値を変質させる可能性をはらむ。

The LDP’s draft constitutional amendments are based on views that place the interests of the state before the freedom of individuals. Lurking at the heart of these views is a sentiment that is close to antipathy toward the human rights and individualism espoused by the current Constitution.
 自民党の憲法改正草案を貫いているのは、国民一人ひとりの自由より、国家を優先させる考え方だ。その根っこには、現憲法の人権や個人主義に対する、敵意に近い感情がうかがえる。

In referring to the LDP’s draft constitutional amendments in a June 1 news conference, Abe toned down his usual rhetoric.
“We are not seeking support from two-thirds (of the members of both chambers) for the initiative by promising to make these amendments,” he said.
 首相はおとといの記者会見で党の草案にふれ、「『これをやりますから賛成する人はだれですか』と3分の2を募っているわけではない」と、抑えた言いぶりにとどめた。

If he secures an electoral victory, however, Abe may start saying the party has won a public mandate to promote the drafts.
If so, which provisions will he try to change for whatever reasons?
 だが、参院選の結果、「草案は信任を得た」と言い出す可能性はないか。そして、どの条文をどのように変えようとしているのか。そこに理はあるか。

Even if Abe doesn’t talk about these questions, voters should ask, as many times as necessary, vital questions about his real stance toward the Constitution.
 首相らが語ろうとはしなくても、有権者として憲法への姿勢を何度でも問い続けたい。

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