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2013年5月11日 (土)

憲法96条改正 発議要件緩和の論議深めたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 11, 2013
Discussions must be deepened over easing top law revision requirements
憲法96条改正 発議要件緩和の論議深めたい(5月10日付・読売社説)

Debates between the ruling and opposition camps are taking place over Article 96 of the Constitution, which outlines procedures for revising the supreme law.
 憲法改正の手続きを定めた96条を巡って、与野党の論戦が活発化してきた。

We hope on this occasion to see widespread public understanding of the necessity of constitutional changes and various tasks relevant to them.
この機に、憲法改正の必要性と様々な課題に関する国民の理解が、広がることを期待したい。

The House of Representatives Commission on the Constitution held discussions on Article 96 for the first time on Thursday.
 衆院憲法審査会が初めて96条を議論した。

Regarding the revision of the Constitution, Article 96 stipulates the Diet can propose amendments to the basic law only when both the lower house and the House of Councillors approve proposed revisions by a two-thirds majority. Furthermore, the initiative must then garner a majority vote in a national referendum. The biggest issue is whether to ease these strict requirements for the legislature's ability to propose constitutional changes.
96条は憲法改正について衆参各院の「3分の2以上」の賛成で発議し、国民投票で過半数の賛成を得なければならない、と規定している。厳しい発議要件の緩和の是非が最大の論点だ。

JCP argument irrelevant

The Liberal Democratic Party has pointed out that while such countries as the United States and Germany have similar requirements to make constitutional changes, those that require approval in a national referendum for amending constitutions are very few, including South Korea and Spain.
 自民党は、米国やドイツなどで改正に議会の3分の2以上の賛成といった制約を設けているが、国民投票まで課しているのは韓国とスペインぐらいだと指摘した。

The LDP also notes that the Diet cannot initiate amendments to the Constitution as long as one-third or more of the members of one of the two chambers are opposed to the amendments, which the LDP stresses means that the will of the people cannot be reflected in the Constitution. The ruling party has been demanding that the two-thirds requirement be changed to a simple majority of the members of both houses.
 その上で、日本の現状では「国会のどちらかの院の3分の1以上の議員の反対で発議できず、憲法に国民の意思が反映されない」として、「3分の2以上」を「過半数」に改めるよう求めた。

Japan's Constitution is extremely hard to revise due to the rigorousness of requirements for revision.
 日本の憲法は世界でも指折りの改正困難な硬性憲法である。

The fact that the Constitution has never been changed since its enactment attests to this.
制定後、一度も改正されていないのはその証左だ。

We support the idea of easing the requirements for constitutional revisions as changes are necessary for the country to be able to cope adequately with fast-changing domestic and international situations.
内外情勢の変化に的確に対応するには発議要件緩和が必要との考え方は支持できる。

The Japanese Communist Party has brought up constitutionalism on the basis that a constitution is meant to rein in the powers of the state and guarantee the rights of the people.
Based on this stance, the JCP in the lower house commission on possible constitutional changes opposed the revision of Article 96, arguing, "Those in power must never be allowed to reduce the requirements for initiating constitutional amendments to the same level being applied to laws in general."
 共産党は、憲法は国民の人権を保障するために国家を縛るものとする立憲主義の理念を強調し、「権力者が憲法の発議要件を一般の法律並みに引き下げるのは禁じ手だ」と96条改正に反対した。

The JCP has also insisted that the LDP-proposed procedural changes for constitutional amendments are "obviously aimed at revising Article 9" of the Constitution.
 「狙いが9条改正にあることは明白だ」とも主張している。

An argument saying that curbs on excesses in government power would be jeopardized simply by lowering hurdles for constitutional amendment requirements should be considered a wild leap of logic.
 だが、発議のハードルを下げるだけで権力に歯止めがかからなくなるという論理には飛躍がある。

A final decision on the matter will, as a matter of course, remain in the hands of the people, and the JCP's assertion that the planned change of Article 96 would bring the status of the Constitution down to the level of ordinary laws cannot be considered appropriate.
最終決定権は、あくまで国民にあり、通常の法律と変わらないとの指摘も当たらない。

Raising the theory of constitutionalism in this context is wide of the mark.
ここで立憲主義を持ち出すのは的はずれだ。

More national debate needed

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party are in line with the LDP on the idea of changing Article 96. When it comes to specifics of amendments, however, there are wide gaps between the LDP and the two opposition parties. The two parties have made changing the article contingent on such matters as converting the Diet into a single-chamber legislature and the introduction of a "doshu-sei" government system of wider regional blocs.
 日本維新の会とみんなの党は、96条改正を目指す点においては自民党と一致するが、具体的な改正内容に関しては一院制や道州制など食い違いも少なくない。

The major opposition Democratic Party of Japan and the LDP's junior coalition partner New Komeito admit there are some within the parties who back a revision of Article 96. However, they said that the parties must be "cautious about letting arguments over constitutional change procedures precede discussions about substantial and specific amendments to the Constitution."
 民主党と公明党はいずれも、96条改正を容認する意見が党内にあるとしながら、「憲法改正の中身の議論の前に改正の手続き論が先行することに対しては、慎重であるべきだ」と主張した。

As pointed out by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, discussions about revising Article 96 can hardly be said to be deepening among the public.
 安倍首相が懸念するように、96条改正については国民的議論が深まっているとは言えまい。

It is also undeniable that uncertainties remain regarding what specific amendments to the Constitution would be pursued after easing revision requirements.
憲法改正の発議要件を緩和した後、どんな改正を目指すのか、不透明なのも確かだろう。

The LDP has already produced a draft for revising the Constitution.
 自民党は、既に憲法改正草案を提示している。

The party should provide detailed explanations about the content and processes of its envisioned constitutional changes, while making redoubled efforts to reach agreement with other parties on the matter.
実際の改正に向けて内容と手順を丁寧に説明するとともに、他党との合意形成に努力する必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 10, 2013)
(2013年5月10日01時39分  読売新聞)

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