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2013年9月 8日 (日)

秘密保護法案 報道の自由への配慮が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 7, 2013
Govt info protection legislation must not hamper media freedom
秘密保護法案 報道の自由への配慮が必要だ(9月6日付・読売社説)

If the nation’s management of highly confidential national security information is sloppy, the country will lose the confidence of its allies and face difficulty sharing information with them.
 安全保障に関する機密情報の管理がずさんでは同盟国などの信頼を得られず、情報共有が進まない。

It is important to forge a new legal framework for information protection.
新たな情報保全法制の整備が急務だ。

The government has announced the outline of a bill legislating the protection of government “special secrets” that is scheduled to be submitted to an extraordinary Diet session this autumn.
 政府が、秋の臨時国会に提出する予定の特定秘密保護法案の概要を公表した。

The planned bill, if passed, will designate national security-related secrets requiring an especially high level of confidentiality as special secrets. The proposed bill stipulates harsh punishment, including imprisonment of up to 10 years, for officials found to have leaked such secrets. The officials subject to the law will include certain government officials and politicians in the three highest ministerial ranks—minister, senior vice minister and parliamentary secretary.
 特に秘匿性の高い安全保障分野の情報を「特定秘密」に指定し、漏えいした公務員や、政務三役の政治家らに最高で懲役10年の重罰を科す内容だ。

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe considers the legislation indispensable to establish an institution similar to the U.S. National Security Council.
 安倍政権は、国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)の創設に必須な法案と位置づけている。

The planned Japanese version of the NSC is supposed to act as a control tower in running the nation’s diplomatic and security policies. It will be in charge of managing key information from relevant ministries and agencies in an integrated manner, while receiving confidential information related to terrorism and military affairs from such countries as the United States.
 日本版NSCは、外交・安全保障の司令塔として関係省庁の重要情報を集約するほか、米国などからテロ・軍事関連の機密情報の提供を受けることが想定される。

Military threats from North Korea, which has been pushing ahead with nuclear weapons development programs, and China’s rapid arms buildup have become increasingly alarming.
 核開発を進める北朝鮮の軍事的脅威や、中国の急速な軍備増強が顕在化している。

To ensure Japan’s peace and security under such circumstances, it is of vital significance to beef up the nation’s information protection, while boosting exchanges of information with such allies as the United States.
日本の平和と安全を守るためには、情報保全体制を強化し、米国などと情報交換を密にすることが重要である。

According to the bill’s outline, the concept of “special secrets” will comprise information relevant to four fields: national defense, diplomacy, prevention of spying activities and prevention of terrorist activities. Relevant members of the Cabinet will designate special secrets.
 法案の概要によると、特定秘密の対象となるのは、「防衛」「外交」「諜報(ちょうほう)活動の防止」「テロ活動の防止」の4分野の情報だ。所管する閣僚が秘密指定する。

Fears of restrictions

A special secret designation will remain for a maximum of five years. Designation renewal will be possible, but will be lifted when deemed unnecessary, according to the outline. The proposed information protection can be considered reasonable to guarantee strict and adequate control of sensitive information.
 秘密指定は最長5年で、更新も可能だが、必要性がなくなれば解除される。厳正な運用を担保する上で、妥当な仕組みである。

Under the planned law, central government officials, officers of prefectural police headquarters and employees of private-sector businesses under contract with government ministries and agencies will be subject to background checks if and when handling special secrets. These checks will cover such things as overseas travel history and drinking habits. Such “aptitude evaluation” of people handling special secrets will be necessary to alleviate the risk of information leaks.
 特定秘密を扱う国家公務員や都道府県警の警察官、省庁と契約を結ぶ民間企業の従業員らは、海外渡航歴や飲酒の節度などで問題がないかどうか調査される。
 情報漏えいのリスクを軽減するには、こうした秘密取扱者の「適性評価」は必要だろう。

The punishment of up to 10 years in prison for leaking of special secrets is considerably tougher than the maximum one-year sentence for central government officials and the maximum five-year sentence for members of the Self-Defense Forces who leak classified data.
 特定秘密の漏えいに対する懲役10年以下の罰則は、国家公務員法の懲役1年以下や、自衛隊法の懲役5年以下より重い。

What is feared in connection with the government-proposed legislation is whether the heavy penalties against divulging secrets might lead to restrictions on the freedom of the media. There could be such adverse impacts as making government officials, out of fear of possible punishment, hesitant to extend cooperation to news coverage.
 懸念されるのは、漏えいに重罰を科すことで、取材・報道の自由が制約されないかという点だ。取材を受ける公務員が萎縮し、取材への協力をためらうといった悪影響が生じかねない。

In addition, anybody who attempts to get government employees to leak information to obtain special secrets will also penalized under the planned legislation.
 公務員に漏えいを働きかける行為も処罰の対象になる。

The government has explained that there would be “no problems concerning the reasonable freedom of the media.” Depending on how the planned law will actually be put into practice, however, there can be no denying that there could arise the possibility of even ordinary news gathering efforts leading to punishment for legitimate and earnest attempts to gather information from government officials.
 政府は「正当な取材活動は問題にならない」と説明するものの、運用次第で、熱心に相手を説得する通常の取材まで処罰対象とされる可能性が否定できない。

Should the freedom of the media fail to be secured, the public’s right to information could not be protected.
 取材・報道の自由が確保されなければ、国民の知る権利は守れない。

The government says a stipulation will be incorporated into the bill to the effect that the people’s fundamental rights “shall not be infringed upon unreasonably.” We wonder, however, if such a stipulation is sufficient.
政府は法案に「国民の基本的人権を不当に侵害しない」との規定を設ける方針だが、これで十分なのか。

Further, in-depth studies should be made in the process of making preparations for the legislation.
更なる検討が必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 6, 2013)
(2013年9月6日01時33分  読売新聞)

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