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2008年10月26日 (日)

公務欠席の雅子さま

(Mainichi Japan) October 25, 2008

The Imperial Household Agency has an obligation to explain Crown Princess Masako's actions

記者の目:公務欠席し、運動会へ行った雅子さま=真鍋光之(東京社会部)

 ◇「病気だから」で済ますな--批判招く宮内庁の説明不足

Crown Princess Masako was absent from the 8th National Sports Festival for the Disabled held in Oita Prefecture. Instead, she went to a sports day event held at Gakushuin Primary School, Tokyo, the school her daughter, Princess Aiko, attends. Grand Master Issei Nomura of the Imperial Household Agency, who is responsible for the care of the Crown Prince and Princess, explained that "illness" was the determining factor underlying the Crown Princess' respective absence and attendance at these two events. However, for an Imperial Family that has prioritized official duties over private lives, some are criticizing the Crown Princess this time for "neglecting official duties."

 皇太子妃雅子さまは、大分県での第8回全国障害者スポーツ大会を欠席し、長女愛子さまの学習院初等科(東京都新宿区)の運動会を観戦した。皇太子ご夫妻のお世話をするトップ、宮内庁の野村一成・東宮大夫は二つの行事への出欠の背景に「病気」があると述べたが、プライベートより公務を重視してきた皇室にあって、雅子さまに対し「公務軽視」との批判が一部から出ている。

Given her current condition, I think it would have been difficult for Crown Princess Masako to perform official duties at a distant location. However, I do not think it is acceptable to use her illness as a way to deal with the issue of balancing her public and private life as a member of the Imperial Family. The Imperial Household Agency should provide a detailed explanation of Crown Princess Masako's recent actions.

 今の雅子さまにとって遠出の公務は難しかったとは思うが、皇族の公私の問題を、病気を理由に簡単に済ませていいとは思わない。今回の雅子さまの行動について、宮内庁は詳細な説明をすべきだ。

The Gakushuin Primary School sports day was held on Oct. 12. Images of Princess Aiko in a footrace emerged following the event. It was a heartwarming scene of mother and child, with Crown Princess Masako filming from the sidelines and waving to her daughter. The Crown Prince, however, was in Oita Prefecture attending the National Sports Festival for the Disabled, where he watched athletes with mental disabilities play volleyball and other sports. Under normal circumstances Crown Princess Masako should have attended to this official duty with the Crown Prince.

 12日の学習院初等科の運動会。報道陣には愛子さまがかけっこをする場面が公開された。愛子さまに手を振り、カメラで撮影する雅子さま。母子のほほえましい光景だったが、皇太子さまはこの日、全国障害者スポーツ大会で大分県を訪問しており、精神障害者のバレーボール競技などを視察していた。本来なら雅子さまも同行する公務だった。

In a press conference on Oct. 3, Grand Master Nomura explained that the reason Crown Princess Masako refrained from official duties to attend the school sports day was due to the fact that she "is currently undergoing medical treatment." The decision was "the result of a comprehensive consideration of the situation in its entirety. Doctors were also consulted." Furthermore, he called for understanding, stating, "in principle, (the Crown Princess) is active to the extent she is able."

 野村東宮大夫は3日の会見で、雅子さまが公務を休んで運動会を観戦することに対し「病気療養中」で「全体的な中身、総合的にいろいろ考えた結果。医師とも相談した」などと説明した。さらに「基本的には可能な中でのご活動ということ」と理解を求めた。

I find it impossible to accept the Imperial Household Agency's attempt to use "illness" as the justification for blithely dismissing issues involving the official duties of the Imperial Family.

 だが私は、皇族の公私が絡むことを「病気だから」という理由であっさり終わらせようとする宮内庁の姿勢に納得できないでいる。

The Imperial Family has a saying that "there is no privacy for the Emperor or Imperial Family," indicating that the family prioritizes "public life" over "private life." The Emperor, Empress, and other members of the Imperial Family have shown that they place official duties first.

 皇室には、「私」より「公」を重視することを表した「天皇、皇族に私(わたくし)なし」という言葉があり、天皇、皇后両陛下はじめ皇族方は、公務を優先する姿勢を示している。

At a press conference in 2000 for the Emperor's birthday, the Emperor stated, regarding the relationship between public and private, that, "both the Empress and I have so far carried out our official duties taking them as a matter of course." The following year, the Emperor commented on the priority given to official duties, stating "We (the Imperial Family) cannot completely remove ourselves from our public position even during the time we spend privately" and, "(in the balance between public and private) overwhelming weight rests with the former."

 公務とプライベートの兼ね合いについて天皇陛下は00年の誕生日会見で、「公務については、私も皇后も務めであればするのが当然だと思って過ごしてきました」と語った。翌年には「私どもは、やはり私人として過ごす時にも、自分たちの立場を完全に離れることはできません」「(公私の比重は)前者の方に多く掛かっております」と公務優先の考えを述べた。

The Crown Prince made similar statements in a press conference held on the occasion of his birthday in 2004. "I think that the most important thing for the Imperial Family is to perform their duties first and foremost for the happiness of the people, above and beyond personal hopes." Prior to the start of her medical treatment, Crown Princess Masako regularly performed official duties with the Crown Prince.

皇太子さまも04年の誕生日会見で「国民の幸福を一番誰よりも先に、自分たちのことよりも先に願って、国民の幸福を祈りながら仕事をするという、これが皇族の一番大切なことではないか」と話した。雅子さまは、療養前は皇太子さまと一緒に公務をすることが普通だった。

In response to the question: "Isn't this prioritizing private affairs over official duties?" asked at the recent press conference, Grand Master Nomura only replied with "that is one way of looking at the situation." What is his opinion on the actions of Crown Princess Masako, whose conduct could be construed as fundamentally overturning the position to prioritize the official duties maintained by the Emperor, Empress, and the Imperial Family? Shouldn't more care be taken with one's words given the criticism that the Crown Princess is "neglecting official duties?"

 野村東宮大夫は会見で「公務よりプライベート優先では」との問いかけに、「そういう見方もあるだろうが」と述べただけだった。天皇、皇后両陛下や皇族方が積み上げてきた公務を重視するというあり方を、根本から覆すともとらえられかねない雅子さまの行動に対して、どう考えているのか。「公務軽視」の批判がある中、丁寧に言葉を尽くすべきだろう。

Furthermore, "illness" as a reason was not convincing. The Crown Princess has not performed any official duties necessitating an overnight stay since her attendance in January of this year of the opening ceremony of the National Winter Sports Festival in Nagano Prefecture. In addition, while in Tokyo she seldom leaves her residence. It is possible to assume from these facts that it would be nearly impossible for her to perform official duties over two nights and three days in Oita Prefecture. Regardless, the press conference with Grand Master Nomura provided no detailed information about Crown Princess Masako's current condition.

 「病気」という理由についても説得力に欠けた。雅子さまは今年1月、冬季国体開会式で長野県を訪れて以来、泊まりがけの公務をしておらず、都内での外出も少ない。このことからも2泊3日の大分での公務は無理だったのだろうと想像するが、野村東宮大夫の会見では、雅子さまが今、具体的にどのような状態なのかまったくわからない。

To what extent did the Imperial Household Agency debate Crown Princess Masako's absence from the National Sports Festival for the Disabled and attendance of Princess Aiko's sports day from the perspective of "public" versus "private?" Did the people involved in the National Sports Festival for the Disabled receive information on the Crown Princess' condition that made it impossible for her to attend? Did they receive a comprehensive explanation regarding the significance of the Crown Princess' presence at the school sports day?

 そもそも宮内庁は、雅子さまが全国障害者スポーツ大会を欠席し、愛子さまの運動会に出席することについて、「公」と「私」という観点でどこまで議論したのだろうか。そして全国障害者スポーツ大会関係者に、雅子さまが欠席せざるを得ない現状、逆に運動会を観戦する理由を意を尽くして説明したのだろうか。

Grand Master Nomura's comments leave some unanswered questions. The phrase "the result of a comprehensive consideration" is too vague and is an insult to the National Sports Festival for the Disabled organizers, athletes, and volunteers who collectively worked very hard to prepare for the anticipated attendance of Crown Princess Masako.

 野村東宮大夫の言葉を聞く限り疑問が残る。「総合的に考えた結果」などといういい方はあまりに大ざっぱで、雅子さまが出席することも想定しながら準備に汗を流してきた大会関係者、障害者、ボランティアらに失礼であろう。

It has been almost five full years since the Crown Princess started undergoing medical treatment. It seems that criticisms and doubts regarding Crown Princess Masako grow stronger each year. This most recent incident has reinforced my view that it is the Imperial Household Agency and its failure to provide detailed information that is responsible for creating these conditions.

 雅子さまが療養に入って丸5年がたとうとしている。雅子さまへの批判、疑問は年々、強まっているように感じるが、今回の件を見て改めて思うのは、その原因を作っているのは詳しい説明をしない宮内庁であるということだ。

The actions of the ill Crown Princess Masako are sometimes difficult to understand and are easily misunderstood. Although the Imperial Household Agency is supposed to provide supporting information, it often stops short at "it is an illness" or "her condition varies." This only serves to isolate the Crown Princess. In consideration of the future of Crown Princess Masako and the Imperial Family, the Imperial Household Agency has an obligation to provide better explanations. (By Hiroyuki Manabe, Mainichi Shimbun)

 病気で苦しむ雅子さまの行動は時にわかりにくく、誤解を生みやすい。それを補足するのが宮内庁なのに、「ご病気」「体調に波がある」で終わらせることが多い。それは雅子さまを孤立させることにほかならない。雅子さまと皇室の将来を考えるならば、宮内庁はもっと説明に心を砕く責任がある。


毎日新聞 20081021日 東京朝刊

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