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2013年2月 1日 (金)

防衛力見直し―首相の説明が足りない

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 28
EDITORIAL: Abe must offer a clear explanation about his defense policy review
防衛力見直し―首相の説明が足りない

The Abe administration has set out to review Japan's defense policy.
 安倍政権による防衛態勢の見直し作業が始まった。

It was decided at a Cabinet meeting last weekend to revise the current defense program outline and scrap the new midterm defense program, which were both crafted under the previous government led by the Democratic Party of Japan. The Abe administration plans to hammer out a new defense outline and a midterm defense plan by the end of this year.
 先週末の閣議で、民主党政権下の10年にできた防衛計画の大綱の見直しと中期防衛力整備計画の廃止を決めた。新たな大綱と中期防は年内につくる。

The government also plans to increase defense spending in the budget for fiscal 2013, which starts in April, for the first time in 11 years.
 13年度予算では防衛費も11年ぶりに増やす方向だ。

Japan and the United States are also now in talks on revising guidelines for bilateral security cooperation again.
 日米防衛協力のための指針(ガイドライン)の再改定をめぐる日米協議もスタートした。

The Abe administration has taken those steps in rapid succession.
 まさに矢継ぎ早である。

The security environment in East Asia has changed dramatically in recent years. In particular, China's dramatic military buildup and growing naval presence in the Pacific Ocean have drawn concern. The country is also embroiled in a territorial dispute with Japan over the Senkaku Islands, which has created tension between the two countries. North Korea has also become a bigger threat to regional security with its repeated missile launches and nuclear tests.
 ここ数年、東アジアの安全保障環境は大きく変わった。とりわけ中国の軍備拡張、海洋進出は著しく、日本との間でも尖閣諸島問題で緊張が続く。ミサイル発射や核実験を繰り返す北朝鮮の脅威も増した。

It is fully appropriate for the Japanese government to make a periodic reassessment of its defense strategy in response to changes in the international situation. As the United States has begun to shift the focus of its defense strategy toward the Asia-Pacific region, it is also necessary for Japan to strengthen the bilateral security alliance.
 国際情勢の変化をふまえ、防衛のあり方を不断に点検するのは当然のことだ。米国が「アジア太平洋重視」を打ち出すなか、日米の同盟関係を深化させることも必要だろう。

But Abe's move could end up heightening tension in the region if it is seen by Japan's neighbors as a reckless departure from the nation's traditional defense policy. We cannot help but have concern about the Abe administration's headlong rush to change defense policy so drastically.
 一方で、防衛政策をやみくもに変えていると受け止められれば、かえって地域の緊張を高めかねない。安倍政権の前のめりの姿勢を見ると、そんな懸念がぬぐえない。

Since the end of World War II, Japan has imposed tight restrictions on its exercise of the right to self-defense based on the pacifist principle laid down by Article 9 of the Constitution. For instance, the Self-Defense Forces are prohibited from using armed force abroad. Nor is the SDF allowed to exercise the right to collective self-defense, which would enable it to fight alongside U.S. forces in hostile situations overseas.
 言うまでもなく、戦後の日本は憲法9条の平和原則のもと、自衛権の行使にみずから厳しい制約を課してきた。自衛隊による海外での武力行使は禁じる、集団的自衛権の行使は認めない、などである。

Abe, however, has already indicated his desire to give the green light to Japan's use of its right to collective self-defense. The Abe administration's series of steps to review national security strategy was apparently based on the premise that the right to collective self-defense will gain parliamentary approval.
 ところが、安倍首相は集団的自衛権の行使容認に意欲を示している。一連の見直し作業もそれを前提にしたものだろう。

If so, what form of defense cooperation between Japan and the United States does he envision and under what kind of situations? We fear that the approval of the right to collective self-defense will give the SDF unlimited powers. Abe has a duty to address this concern.
 では、どのような事態のもとで、どんな形の日米協力を想定しているのか。自衛隊の活動を際限なく広げるようなことにならないか。首相は明確に説明する責任がある。

Unless he does so, his actions could cause great alarm among Japan's neighbors and trigger a fierce arms race.
 そうでないと、周辺国の警戒感を高め、激しい軍拡競争に陥りかねない。

Wanton expansion of defense spending is also unacceptable.
 防衛費の野放図な拡大も許されない。

The current defense program outline adopted the concept of "dynamic defense capability." This approach is aimed at achieving greater efficiency in SDF operations amid the fiscal crunch that forced the government to cut defense spending in the first place.
 現大綱は「動的防衛力」という考え方を打ち出した。防衛予算が削減されるなか、自衛隊を効率的に運用する狙いだ。

Due to the nation's dire fiscal situation, there is an ever-present need to scrutinize the SDF's equipment, manpower and activities from the viewpoint of cost efficiency. Ramping up the budget allocation to the Japan Coast Guard could be a more efficient way to enhance the nation's capability to defend its borders against foreign intrusions in southwestern sea areas, including those around the Senkaku Islands.
 厳しい財政事情のもと、今後も装備や人員、活動を精査することは欠かせない。尖閣をふくむ南西海域の警備強化には、海上保安庁に予算を重点配分する方が効果的な面もある。

Dealing effectively with China is a difficult and complicated challenge. Tackling this challenge requires a comprehensive strategy that incorporates diplomatic and economic efforts. It would not be wise to focus solely on bolstering defense capability.
 中国との向き合い方は一筋縄ではいかない。外交や経済をふくむ総合的な戦略を描く必要がある。防衛力強化だけを突出させるべきではあるまい。

As the Abe administration works on the new security policy, it needs to offer clear and convincing explanations about its intentions and avoid creating unnecessary tensions. This is the essence of security policies.
 説明を怠らず、無用の緊張をあおらない。これが安全保障政策の要諦(ようてい)である。

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