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2014年5月 4日 (日)

憲法記念日 集団的自衛権で抑止力高めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 6:47 pm, May 03, 2014
Collective self-defense a necessity for Japan in a changed world
憲法記念日 集団的自衛権で抑止力高めよ

 ◆解釈変更は立憲主義に反しない

Constitution Day on Saturday marks 67 years since the nation’s supreme law came into force, a period during which Japan has witnessed tectonic changes in the situation surrounding it.
 きょうは憲法記念日。憲法が施行されてから67周年となる。
 この間、日本を巡る状況は様変わりした。

In particular, Japan’s security environment has relentlessly deteriorated in recent years. At a time when U.S. power is in relative decline, North Korea is continuing its development of nuclear arms and ballistic missiles, while China is pursuing a rapid military buildup and aggressively trying to enhance its presence at sea.
 とくに近年、安全保障環境は悪化するばかりだ。米国の力が相対的に低下する中、北朝鮮は核兵器や弾道ミサイルの開発を継続し、中国が急速に軍備を増強して海洋進出を図っている。

It is an urgent task for Japan to improve its defense power and strengthen its alliance with the United States if it wants to protect its land, territorial waters and airspace as well as the people’s lives and property.
 領土・領海・領空と国民の生命、財産を守るため、防衛力を整備し、米国との同盟関係を強化することが急務である。

Being aware of these goals, the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is out to change the government’s constitutional interpretation to allow the nation to exercise the right to collective self-defense. His efforts should be highly praised.
 安倍政権が集団的自衛権の憲法解釈見直しに取り組んでいるのもこうした目的意識からであり、高く評価したい。

It is realistic to take the approach of allowing the exercise of the right by changing the government’s interpretation and having the Diet revise legislation, including the Self-Defense Forces Law, in light of the fact that revising the Constitution takes a long time.
憲法改正には時間を要する以上、政府の解釈変更と国会による自衛隊法などの改正で対応するのは現実的な判断だ。

Contradictory position
 ◆日米同盟強化に資する

The right to collective self-defense allows a nation, even when not under attack itself, to launch an armed counterattack when there is an attack on another nation with which it has close ties. This right, clearly spelled out in the U.N. Charter, is granted to all nations in the world.
 集団的自衛権とは、自国と密接な関係にある国が攻撃を受けた際に、自国が攻撃されていなくても実力で反撃する権利だ。国連憲章に明記され、すべての国に認められている。

The government’s Cabinet Legislation Bureau has a longstanding interpretation that while Japan does possess the right to collective self-defense under international law, it is not allowed to exercise that right under the Constitution. But this position is not viable by any international standard.
 集団的自衛権は「国際法上、保有するが、憲法上、行使できない」とする内閣法制局の従来の憲法解釈は、国際的には全く通用しない。

The government repeated this view over and over again during its answers to the Diet in 1981, showing restraint on the issue in part to weather stormy parliamentary debate between the conservative and progressive camps.
 この見解は1981年に政府答弁の決まり文句になった。保革対立が激しい国会論戦を乗り切ろうと、抑制的にした面もあろう。

Opponents say any change in the government interpretation would be tantamount to negating “constitutionalism that constrains the state’s power to protect the people’s rights.”
 憲法解釈の変更については、「国民の権利を守るために国家権力を縛る『立憲主義』を否定するものだ」という反論がある。

But constitutionalism is a broad idea that encompasses the concepts of guaranteeing the people’s rights as well as moving politics forward in line with constitutional principles, including the separation of powers among the administrative, legislative and judicial branches.
 だが、立憲主義とは、国民の権利保障とともに、三権分立など憲法の原理に従って政治を進めるという意味を含む幅広い概念だ。

It is difficult to fathom criticism that the move would be a denial of constitutionalism when the Cabinet, which has the right to make official interpretations of the Constitution, is taking proper procedures to seek changes in its constitutional interpretations.
 内閣には憲法の公権的解釈権がある。手順を踏んで解釈変更を問うことが、なぜ立憲主義の否定になるのか。理解に苦しむ。

It is worth mentioning that it would not be the first time that the government has changed its constitutional interpretation. The government has previously changed its interpretation of the definition of “civilian” in Article 66 of the Constitution.
 そもそも、解釈の見直しは初めてではない。政府は、過去に憲法66条の「文民」の定義に関する解釈を変えている。

Consensus on limited approval
 ◆限定容認で合意形成を

As a nation’s exercise of the right to collective self-defense does not require an “imminent and unlawful” infringement on the nation itself, some critics say that it would pave the way for Japan to follow U.S. moves to go to war on the other side of the globe. But we have to say this is nothing but a groundless agitation.
 集団的自衛権の行使容認は自国への「急迫不正」の侵害を要件としないため、「米国に追随し、地球の裏側まで戦争に参加する道を開く」との批判がある。だが、これも根拠のない扇動である。

Changing the constitutional interpretation regarding the right to collective self-defense does not mean getting involved in a war but is aimed primarily at enhancing deterrence to prevent war.
 集団的自衛権の解釈変更は、戦争に加担するのではなく、戦争を未然に防ぐ抑止力を高めることにこそ主眼がある。

If the change is reflected in reexamination of the Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation Guidelines scheduled for December, the bilateral alliance would be further strengthened. Elevating deterrence would, in fact, help decrease the possibility of Japan being involved in armed clashes.
 年末に予定される日米防衛協力の指針(ガイドライン)の見直しに解釈変更を反映すれば、同盟関係は一層強固になる。抑止力の向上によって、むしろ日本が関わる武力衝突は起きにくくなろう。

The government and the Liberal Democratic Party are considering allowing the exercise of the collective defense right to limited cases.
 政府・自民党は、集団的自衛権を行使できるケースを限定的にする方向で検討している。

Using the Supreme Court’s 1959 ruling on the so-called Sunagawa incident in 1957 as a basis, LDP Vice President Masahiko Komura calls for enabling the country to exercise its “minimum necessary self-defense right for the purpose of securing Japan’s existence as a nation.” His argument for “limited permission” is persuasive.
 憲法9条の解釈が問われた砂川事件の最高裁判決を一つの根拠に「日本の存立のための必要最小限」の集団的自衛権の行使に限って認める高村自民党副総裁の「限定容認論」には説得力がある。

Even if the Cabinet decides to change the official constitutional interpretation, it would not be possible for the right to be exercised immediately. Legal revisions by the Diet would be required.
 内閣が解釈変更を閣議決定しても、直ちに集団的自衛権を行使できるわけではない。国会による法改正手続きが欠かせない。

As legal requirements, Diet approval and a request for protection from a country under attack would be considered conditions for the exercise of the right.
 法律面では、国会承認や攻撃を受けた国からの要請などが行使の条件として考慮されている。

LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba has said that if exercise of the right to collective self-defense was permitted, strict legal limits would be applied by revising such laws as the Self-Defense Forces Law and the law to cope with situations surrounding Japan that threaten the nation’s peace and security. In addition to the legislative branch, the judicial branch will check whether exercise of the right is constitutional whenever it is exercised. So abuse of the right could be prevented.
 自民党の石破幹事長は集団的自衛権の行使を容認する場合、自衛隊法や周辺事態法などを改正し、法的に厳格な縛りをかけると言明した。立法府に加え、司法も憲法違反ではないか、チェックする。濫用らんようは防止できよう。

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party have expressed support for the change in constitutional interpretation regarding the right to collective self-defense.
 集団的自衛権の憲法解釈変更については、日本維新の会、みんなの党も賛意を示している。

The LDP’s coalition partner, New Komeito, remains wary of the change. The party argues that if a U.S. military ship is attacked in the sea around Japan, it can be dealt with through the exercise of the right to individual self-defense by regarding it as an armed attack on Japan.
 公明党は、依然として慎重な構えだ。日本近海で米軍艦船が攻撃された際は日本に対する武力攻撃だとみなし、個別的自衛権で対応すればいい、と主張する。

But it is difficult to draw the line on the application of the right to individual self-defense in times of emergency. Action must be taken in cooperation with an alliance partner and friendly countries by anticipating every possible situation.
 だが、有事の際、どこまで個別的自衛権を適用できるか、線引きは難しい。あらゆる事態を想定しながら、同盟国や友好国と連携した行動をとらねばならない。

‘Minor self-defense right’
 ◆緊急事態への対処も

It is also possible that emergencies stopping short of armed attacks will happen. It is necessary to study establishing legal arrangements to cope with such cases by exercising what is called the “minor self-defense right.”
 武力攻撃には至らないような緊急事態もあり得る。いわゆる「マイナー自衛権」で対処するための法整備も、検討すべきである。

Seven ruling and opposition parties jointly submitted to the Diet last month a bill to revise the National Referendum Law, which sets the procedures for constitutional revision. The bill is likely to be enacted before the current Diet session ends in June.
 先月、与野党7党が憲法改正の手続きを定めた国民投票法の改正案を国会に共同提出した。今国会中に成立する見通しだ。

Given this view, initiation of a constitutional amendment will become a realistic option. The ruling and opposition parties need to launch debate on revision of specific provisions by cherishing a wide-ranging consensus formed through the joint sponsorship of the revision bill.
 憲法改正の発議が現実味を帯びてくるだろう。与野党は共同提出を通じて形成された幅広い合意を大切にして、具体的な条項の改正論議を始める必要がある。

The Abe administration is urged to proactively explain the need for constitutional revision so that it can win support from a wider range of the people.
 安倍政権には、憲法改正の必要性を積極的に国民に訴え、理解を広げていくことも求めたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 3, 2014)

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