« アトレ・バンク ショッピング枠現金化サービス | トップページ | 東洋ギフト ショッピング枠現金化サービス »

2009年8月22日 (土)

憲法改正 「国づくり」の基本を論じよう

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 22, 2009)
Parties, candidates must debate top law reform
憲法改正 「国づくり」の基本を論じよう(8月22日付・読売社説)

There must be quite a few people who still feel somewhat unsure about the election pledges or manifestos prepared by political parties for the upcoming House of Representatives election. In what direction do the political parties want to lead this country?

This election will be a chance for voters to select which party they think deserves to govern the country. Accordingly, voters need to listen to each party's vision for this country's society and what course the nation should take. We think each party should take part in a debate to make their respective positions clear on the Constitution, which can be regarded as the "shape of the nation."

However, we have heard almost no debate on constitutional reform even though the election campaign is in its final stretch. We find this a worrying development.


Don't avoid discussion

The Liberal Democratic Party at least emphasizes in its manifesto that it will revise the nation's top law based on the party's draft of a new constitution.

However, the argument on instituting the party's constitution has been almost drowned out amid the chorus of calls by Prime Minister Taro Aso and other LDP candidates' attempts to win over voters by putting economic stimulus measures first.

Democratic Party of Japan President Yukio Hatoyama is known to favor reforming the Constitution. However, the DPJ's election pledges only say that the main opposition party "will carefully and positively examine" the issue of revision. This gives no indication whatsoever about where the party stands on this issue. Such wording must leave voters scratching their heads.

The Social Democratic Party only talks about "protecting the Constitution." We think it is quite regrettable if the DPJ has been ducking debate over revising the Constitution due to fears that such exchanges would only cause confusion in and hinder its joint campaign efforts and coalition negotiations with the SDP.

However, lower house members elected in the coming election will have to face the Constitution issue whether they like it or not.

The National Referendum Law that defines procedures for revising the Constitution will be enforced next May. This will legally enable the submission of a bill for revising the Constitution to the Diet.


All issues related to Constitution

Policy pledges trumpeted by political parties for the looming election--such as child-rearing allowances, scholarships and tuition exemptions, employment measures and the promotion of the decentralization of government functions to local authorities--are all inextricably connected with the top law.

After the election, the fuel supply mission of the Maritime Self-Defense Force in the Indian Ocean as part of antiterrorism operations will again become the subject of intense bickering between ruling and opposition parties. How to clarify the Self-Defense Forces' international peace cooperation activities in the Constitution will be one of the contentious issues in any possible revision of the top law.

Whether the government's interpretation that the Constitution prohibits Japan's exercise of the right to collective self-defense should be altered to help this nation better deal with the ballistic missile threat posed by North Korea will be another unavoidable political issue.

We think the lower house's Deliberative Council on the Constitution, which has for all intents and purposes been rendered dormant, should be reactivated during the Diet session after the election.

According to a recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey of prospective candidates in the upcoming election, 98 percent of those in the LDP and 62 percent of those in the DPJ said that the current Constitution should be revised.

Each party, not to mention each candidate, should make debate on the Constitution a top item on its agenda--and make clear its views on this crucial issue.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 22, 2009)
(2009年8月22日01時07分  読売新聞)


« アトレ・バンク ショッピング枠現金化サービス | トップページ | 東洋ギフト ショッピング枠現金化サービス »





« アトレ・バンク ショッピング枠現金化サービス | トップページ | 東洋ギフト ショッピング枠現金化サービス »