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2012年12月16日 (日)

憲法改正 「3分の2」要件緩和を糸口に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 16, 2012)
Relax two-thirds rule for constitutional revision
憲法改正 「3分の2」要件緩和を糸口に(12月15日付・読売社説)

While the international community is changing drastically, what type of nation should Japan aim to become in the future?
 国際社会が大きく変貌する中で、日本は今後どういう国造りを目指すべきなのか。

One reason this House of Representatives election is significant is that revision of the nation's Constitution has emerged as a major campaign issue.
 今回衆院選の意義の一つは、憲法の改正が主要な争点に浮上したことだろう。

The Liberal Democratic Party has included an outline of its draft plan to revise the supreme law in its campaign platform. The outline calls for Japan's right to self-defense to be added to Article 9 of the Constitution and possession of an armed force for national defense to be stipulated in the same article.
 自民党は、政権公約に憲法改正草案の概要を盛り込んだ。9条には新たに自衛権を明記し、国防軍の保持を規定するとしている。

Whatever they are called, we consider it appropriate to place the Self-Defense Forces in the Constitution. The lack of stipulations concerning the SDF in the basic law has created a fictitious narrative in which the SDF is not a military force and has led to unrealistic interpretations of and discussions about the Constitution.
 国防軍という名称はともかく、憲法に自衛隊を位置づけることは妥当だ。自衛隊の規定のないことが、「自衛隊は軍隊ではない」という虚構を生み、現実離れした憲法解釈・論議をもたらしてきた。

The LDP is not trying to revise the pacifistic ideas in Article 9, however. The Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party are criticizing the LDP for trying to transform Japan into a country that will engage in war abroad, but we think they have missed the point.
 自民党は、9条の平和主義まで変更するわけではない。「日本が海外で戦争する国に作り替えられる」といった共産党や社民党の批判は的外れだ。

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Komeito wary of revision

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) President Shintaro Ishihara said he is not sure whether the LDP and New Komeito will really try to amend the Constitution even if they win a majority of lower house seats in Sunday's general election. He aimed to highlight the significance of Ishin no Kai, which is more willing to revise the Constitution.
 日本維新の会の石原代表は、自公両党で過半数を取ったとしても憲法改正に向かうかどうか分からないと述べ、改正に積極的な維新の会の存在意義を強調した。

Ishihara made his remark apparently in light of the fact that Komeito is wary of constitutional revision. The issue of constitutional revision will be a problem if the LDP forms a coalition government with Komeito and wants to maintain it.
 公明党が憲法改正に慎重なことを念頭に置いたものだ。自民党が公明党と連立政権を組み、維持していく場合、憲法改正は、課題となるだろう。

Meanwhile, it leaves much to be desired that the Democratic Party of Japan has only said in its campaign platform that the party "will make use of the Constitution."
 民主党が、政権公約に「憲法を活(い)かす」と記述しただけなのは物足りない。

DPJ President and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is willing deep down to revise the Constitution, but he said revision is not an issue in the lower house election campaign. We do not know what kind of constitution the DPJ considers ideal.
野田首相は本来、改正に前向きだが、衆院選の争点ではないと主張した。民主党はどんな憲法を目指すのか分からない。

More discussions are also necessary on the two-chamber system. The government and ruling coalition parties cannot pass any bill without cooperation of the opposition in the so-called divided Diet, where the latter controls the House of Councillors. The opposition parties constantly submit censure motions and refuse deliberations on bills in the upper house only to create confusion. This is a major cause of the functional decline of politics.
 二院制についても議論が必要だ。衆参ねじれ国会の下、政府・与党は野党の協力なしには法案を成立させられない。参院では野党が問責決議や審議拒否を連発し、混乱を招いている。政治の機能低下の大きな要因だ。

Ishin no Kai and Your Party are advocating a unicameral assembly by amending the Constitution to resolve the divided Diet.
 維新の会とみんなの党は、憲法改正で一院制を実現し、衆参のねじれをなくすと訴えている。

We do not think abolition of the upper house is realistic. But, we also can understand that they are trying to solve the problem by raising questions about the adverse effects caused by the situation in the upper house, which has too much power.
参院廃止は現実的とは言えないが、「強すぎる参院」の弊害解消への問題提起として理解できる。

===

Make start with Article 96

We think it is extremely important to create a constitutional provision to deal with emergencies as proposed by the LDP and Your Party. The current Constitution does not have any provision to enhance functions of the government in case of emergencies. This problem resurfaced after the Great East Japan Earthquake last year.
 自民、みんなの両党が唱える「緊急事態条項」の新設は、極めて重要だ。憲法には緊急時に政府機能を強化する条項が欠如している。東日本大震災で改めて浮き彫りになった問題でもある。

It is also very significant that the LDP, Ishin no Kai and Your Party have called for relaxation of requirements to amend the Constitution. Article 96 of the Constitution stipulates that a concurring vote of two-thirds or more of all the members of each house is necessary to initiate revision of the Constitution. This hurdle is too high.
 自民、維新、みんなの各党が憲法改正要件の緩和を掲げた意義は大きい。憲法96条は改正発議要件を衆参各院の総議員の「3分の2以上」の賛成としており、改正のハードルは極めて高い。

Relaxing this requirement by revising it to a majority would be the first step to reviewing the Constitution based on changes of the time. After the lower house election, each party should start discussing constitutional revision, starting with Article 96.
 これを「過半数」と改め、改正要件を緩和することが、時代の変化に応じて憲法を見直す一歩となる。選挙後、各党は96条を糸口に改正論議に着手すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 15, 2012)
(2012年12月15日01時41分  読売新聞)

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