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2008年11月 2日 (日)

空幕長更迭

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Nov. 2, 2008)

ASDF's Tamogami neglected duties

空幕長更迭 立場忘れた軽率な論文発表(112日付・読売社説)

It was an extremely thoughtless act, committed by someone who forgot his position as the top Air Self-Defense Force officer.

 航空自衛隊のトップという立場を忘れた、極めて軽率な行為だ。

The government has dismissed ASDF Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami over an essay he wrote in which he said Japan should not have been described as an aggressor country in connection with the war in China and World War II.

 政府は、「我が国が侵略国家だったというのは濡()れ衣(ぎぬ)だ」などとする論文を発表した田母神俊雄・航空幕僚長を更迭した。

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Taro Aso has backed the official statement released in 1995 by then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama stating that "Japan inflicted tremendous damage and suffering on Asian and other countries through its colonial rule and aggression."

 麻生内閣も、「植民地支配と侵略によって、アジア諸国の人々に対して多大の損害と苦痛を与えた」として反省と謝罪を表明した1995年の村山首相談話を踏襲している。

Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada told reporters that it was highly improper for a person in Tamogami's capacity as ASDF chief to publicly express an opinion so obviously at odds with the government's position. Removing him was a natural course of action for the government.

 浜田防衛相は、「政府見解と明らかに異なる意見を公にすることは、航空幕僚長として、大変不適切だ」と更迭の理由を述べた。当然だろう。

The government acted decisively by dismissing Tamogami immediately after the content of his essay was made public. This was possibly because the government hoped to minimize the potential negative effects of the essay on Diet deliberations and relationships with neighboring countries.

 論文の内容が判明した直後、迅速に人事を断行したのは、国会審議や近隣諸国との関係に及ぼす悪影響を最小限に抑える狙いもあったとみられる。

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Essay ill-thought-out

Tamogami's essay was submitted to a contest organized by a private company and was awarded the grand prize. Its author repeatedly tried to justify Japan's colonial rule before World War II and during what this newspaper refers to as the Showa War, which includes the Manchurian Incident, the Sino-Japanese War and the war between Japan and the United States.

 論文は、民間企業の懸賞論文に応募したものだ。戦前の日本による植民地支配や昭和戦争について、一貫して日本の立場を正当化しようと試みている。

In his essay, Tamogami described Japan as a "victim" that was drawn into the Sino-Japanese War by Chiang Kai-shek, who led the Chinese Nationalist Party. But, when we look at the war as a whole, it cannot be denied that the war was caused by Japan's aggression.

 日中戦争については、「我が国は蒋介石により引きずり込まれた被害者」と主張している。だが、戦争全体を見れば、日本の侵略だったことは否定できない。

Tamogami also states definitively in the essay that the Japan-U.S. war started because Japan was caught in a "trap" carefully set by the United States.

 日米戦争の開戦も「アメリカによって慎重に仕掛けられた罠(わな)」と決めつける。

The essay includes lots of factual errors and views that many historians do not support. It is ill-thought-out.

 論文は、事実誤認や、歴史家の多くが採用していない見方が目立っており、粗雑な内容だ。

As historical perception, in the final analysis, shares common ground with freedom of thought and belief, individuals are free to arrive at their own historical perception about the Showa War.

 もとより、歴史認識というものは、思想・信条の自由と通底する面があり、昭和戦争に関して、個々人がそれぞれ歴史認識を持つことは自由である。

But Tamogami held one of the top posts in the Self-Defense Forces. If it is the case that he failed to realize that publishing an essay that contradicted the government's position could cause a serious problem, then we have serious doubts about his fitness for the post in the first place.

 しかし、田母神氏は自衛隊の最高幹部という要職にあった。政府見解と相いれない論文を発表すれば重大な事態を招く、という認識がなかったのなら、その資質に大いに疑問がある。

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Brass need education

The essay also brought up important issues, such as the exercise of the right to collective self-defense, an action banned under the government's current constitutional interpretation, and the restriction on the usage of weapons by SDF personnel. But the fact that Tamogami referred to these issues in the context of an essay makes his arguments unpersuasive.

 論文には、集団的自衛権が行使できないとする政府の憲法解釈や自衛隊の武器使用の制約など、重要な問題提起も含まれている。だが、この論文の文脈の中で主張しても、説得力を持たない。

Why did nobody check such a problematic essay before it was released? As things stand, the trust of the Japanese public and other countries in the SDF could be shaken.

 こうした問題の多い論文の発表を、なぜ、だれもチェックできなかったのか。これでは、自衛隊に対する国民や諸外国の信頼が揺らぎかねない。

To prevent a recurrence of such a situation, the Defense Ministry needs to strengthen education and personnel management for uniformed SDF brass. This essay by a top SDF officer could also stir controversy over whether civilian control of the SDF remains intact.

 防衛省は、今回のような事態の再発を防ぐには、制服組の自衛官の教育と人事管理を強化する必要がある。政治の文民統制(シビリアンコントロール)のあり方も問われかねない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 2, 2008)

20081120216  読売新聞)

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