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2014年6月16日 (月)

改正国民投票法 新たな憲法の各論を深めたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
All parties must promote debates with an eye to revising nation’s Constitution
改正国民投票法 新たな憲法の各論を深めたい

We applaud the fact that more than 90 percent of the members of the House of Representatives and House of Councillors supported a bill to revise the national referendum law, a show of wide support that will serve as an important basis for realizing constitutional revisions.
 衆参両院の9割超の賛同を得たことは、憲法改正の実現への重要な基盤になると歓迎したい。

The bill has been passed into law with the approval of eight ruling and opposition parties, including the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito, the Democratic Party of Japan and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party). The only parties that voted against it were the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party.
 改正国民投票法が、自民、公明、民主、日本維新の会など与野党8党の賛成で成立した。反対した政党は共産、社民両党だけである。

The revised law stipulates that the minimum voting age in national referendums on constitutional revisions will remain 20 for the time being but will be lowered to 18 four years after the law’s enforcement. It is significant that a legal framework for carrying out national referendums has been established.
 改正法は、憲法改正の国民投票権について、当面は「20歳以上」とし、施行の4年後に「18歳以上」に引き下げると定めたものだ。国民投票を実施するための法制面の環境が整った意義は大きい。

When the national referendum law was established in May 2007 during the first Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, it was mainly supported by the LDP and Komeito but opposed by the DPJ.
 2007年5月に第1次安倍内閣で国民投票法が成立した際は、民主党が反対し、自民、公明の与党などの賛成にとどまった。

In deliberations over the revised legislation, the ruling camp and the DPJ initially clashed over restrictions imposed on campaigning for a national referendum by public servants, but both sides eventually compromised to forge a suprapartisan agreement.
 今回も当初は、公務員の国民投票運動の制限などをめぐり与党と民主党が対立したが、双方が歩み寄って超党派の合意ができた。

A high hurdle must be cleared before revising the Constitution: Amendments must be initiated by the Diet through a concurring vote of two-thirds or more of all the members of each house. Putting their own interests aside, all parties should strive to build a broad consensus.
 憲法改正の発議には、衆参各院の3分の2以上の賛成を要するという高いハードルがある。各党は党利党略を排し、幅広い合意形成を目指してもらいたい。

Revision essential

The nation’s Constitution has not been revised since its establishment in 1946, which makes it a rare case in the world. It has become even more necessary to revise the basic law to enable it to deal adequately and swiftly with various important issues out of consideration for the drastic changes Japan has seen in its economy and society as well as in the international and security environments.
 日本国憲法は1946年の制定以来、一度も改正されていない。世界でも希有けうな存在だ。日本の経済・社会や国際情勢、安全保障環境の劇的な変化を踏まえ、様々な重要課題に迅速かつ適切に対応できるよう、憲法を見直す必要性は一段と高くなっている。

From now on, it is essential to discuss specifics in depth—which articles should be changed and how they should be amended. Major points of deliberations have already been presented during discussions by each chamber’s Commission on the Constitution.
 今後は、どの条文をどう変更するのか、具体論を深めることが大切だ。衆参の憲法審査会の議論で主要な論点は出そろっている。

Many parties have agreed on clarifying the status of the Self-Defense Forces, adding such new rights as environmental rights to the people’s rights and strengthening the prime minister’s authority in emergencies such as major earthquakes.
 自衛隊の位置づけの明確化、環境権といった新しい国民の権利の追加、大震災を含む緊急事態の発生時の首相権限の強化などは、多くの党が賛成している。

Relaxing the requirements to initiate constitutional amendment procedures in the Diet is an urgent task, while reviewing the roles of each chamber of the Diet stipulated in the top law is an important challenge. Further in-depth discussions are essential on issues that divide parties, such as the right to self-defense.
 憲法改正の発議要件の緩和も急ぐ必要がある。衆参両院の役割分担の見直し、自衛権のあり方など、各党の主張が分かれるテーマについても、さらに議論を掘り下げねばならない。

Parties also should decide on the advisability of lowering the minimum voting age in elections in line with the voting age for national referendums, a task assigned to them in an additional clause of the revised law.
 国民投票年齢に合わせた選挙権年齢の引き下げなど、改正法の「宿題」についても、きちんと結論を出すことが求められる。

The ruling and opposition parties have already agreed to set up a working group on the issue and concurred on the need to lower the minimum voting age in elections to 18 within two years. Naturally, it is desirable to make the minimum voting age in elections consistent with that in national referendums.
 与野党は、作業部会を設置し、2年以内に選挙権年齢を「18歳以上」にすることで合意している。選挙と国民投票の最低年齢が一致した方が望ましいのは当然だ。

It is no easy task to lower the age of majority to 18 in the Civil Code as the change’s impact on various aspects of society will be huge. But the age of adulthood is 18 in most nations. There is no reason why Japan cannot revise it in line with the international standard.
 民法の成人年齢を18歳以上に引き下げるのは、社会の各方面への影響が大きく、簡単ではない。だが、世界のほとんどの国は18歳以上だ。日本だけが国際標準に合わせられないはずがない。

It is essential for both ruling and opposition parties to steadily step up debates to bring about this change.
 実現に向けて、与野党は着実に検討を進めることが重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 15, 2014)

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