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2014年6月21日 (土)

集団的自衛権の協議―歴史の審判に耐えられぬ

June 20, 2014
EDITORIAL: Ruling coalition's radical security policy shift doomed to fail test of history
集団的自衛権の協議―歴史の審判に耐えられぬ

The talks between the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, New Komeito, over Japan’s right to collective self-defense are already entering the final stages, despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s promise not to set a fixed deadline for concluding the negotiations.
 「期限ありきではない」 
こんな前提で始まったはずの集団的自衛権をめぐる与党協議が、いつの間にか大詰めを迎えつつある。

Abe and New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi held talks on June 19, and agreed to continue the discussions after the current Diet session concludes on June 22.
 きのう、安倍首相と公明党の山口代表が会談し、22日に国会が閉会した後も、議論を続けていくことを確認した。

The focus of the coalition talks has already shifted from whether to allow Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense to the issue as to what extent it can be exercised.
 与党協議の焦点は、集団的自衛権の行使を認めるかどうかではなく、どの範囲まで認めるかに移っている。

Abe is intent on putting his Cabinet’s official seal of approval on this important security policy shift by early July at the latest.
 首相は、遅くとも7月初めまでに閣議決定をする構えだ。

No matter what restrictions are placed on the actual implementation of the new policy, allowing Japan to use the right to collective self-defense will lead to Japan’s involvement in the defense of other countries, which successive Cabinets had said is banned by Article 9 of the Constitution.
 たとえどんなに限定をつけようとも、集団的自衛権を認めるのは、歴代内閣が憲法9条によって「できない」と言ってきた他国の防衛に、日本が加わるということだ。

This policy shift will pave the way for overseas deployments of the Self-Defense Forces for missions that are not performed under the traditional defense-only policy.
 専守防衛に徹してきた自衛隊が、これまで想定していなかった任務のため海外に出動することになる。

It has been little more than a month since Abe announced his intention to consider changing the government’s interpretation of the Constitution. It is hard to claim that this radical change in the nation’s security policy, which would even require school textbooks to be rewritten, is supported by broad public consensus.
 首相が、憲法解釈の変更に向けた検討を表明してから、わずか1カ月あまり。教科書を書き換えねばならないほどの基本政策の転換に、国民の合意が備わっているとは言い難い。

This is not an issue that should be settled simply through political compromise between the ruling parties after negotiations under an effectively fixed time frame.
 実質的に期限を切ったなか、与党間の政治的妥協で決着をつけていい問題ではない。

The debate on this issue should be brought back to square one.
 ここはいったん、議論を白紙に戻すべきだ。

LIMITED OPTIONS FOR NEW KOMEITO
■協議の限界あらわに

Having discussed 15 specific cases cited by the government as likely situations where Japan would participate in collective self-defense operations, the ruling parties on June 20 shifted the focus of debate to the draft text for a Cabinet endorsement, which is based on the private proposal made by LDP Vice President Masahiko Komura.
 きょうからの与党協議の焦点は、政府が示した15事例の具体的な検討から、自民党の高村正彦副総裁の私案を下敷きとした閣議決定の文案に移る。

The 15 cases were actually a stage prop for discussions, and they are no longer necessary, according to a New Komeito senior official. Although that was clear from the beginning, it is hard not to feel a sense of futility about the discussions so far.
 公明党幹部によれば、15事例は議論のための「小道具」に過ぎず、その役割はもう終わったのだという。はじめからわかっていたこととはいえ、それではいままでの協議は何だったのか。空しさが残る。

There are serious concerns about Komura’s private proposal.
 一方、高村私案には重大な懸念がある。

The primary condition set by the proposal for the use of armed force by the SDF in response to an armed attack against another country is that “there are concerns that Japan’s existence could be threatened and that the Japanese people’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness could be fundamentally violated.”
 「我が国の存立が脅かされ、国民の生命、自由及び幸福追求の権利が根底から覆されるおそれがあること」。
これが、「他国に対する武力攻撃」に、日本の自衛隊が武力を使うにあたっての条件だという。

At first glance, this appears to impose tight restrictions on Japan’s participation in collective self-defense. Actually, however, the SDF would be allowed to use armed force if the government judges the conditions are met.
 一見、厳しい枠がはめられているようにも見える。だが、結局は政府がこの条件にあてはまると認定さえすれば、自衛隊は武力を使える。

That’s why the promise to allow only limited use of the right to collective self-defense is in reality an empty pretense.
 ここに「限定容認論」のまやかしがある。

The move will open the door to the SDF’s use of armed force to defend other countries under vague requirements. It is glaringly obvious that once this door is opened the scope of the “minimum necessary” will be widened swiftly.
 あいまいな要件のもと、自衛隊が他国を守る武力行使に踏み出す。いったん認めてしまえば、「必要最小限」の枠などあっという間に広がっていくのは目に見えている。

In response to a request from New Komeito, the LDP may agree to change the wording of the condition to make it sound a little stricter in the text of the Cabinet approval, but the essence of this move cannot change. In a case of cunning political maneuvering, the revision to the text will be used as another incentive to entice New Komeito to support the initiative.
 公明党の要求を受け、閣議決定にあたってはもう少し厳しめの表現に修正されるかもしれない。だが、その本質は変わりようもない。そして、その修正がまた、公明党を容認に引き込むための新たな「小道具」となる矛盾をはらむ。

This clearly shows a fundamental limitation to the influence New Komeito can have on the results of the talks, given New Komeito’s decision in an early stage to deny itself the option of dissolving its alliance with the LDP.
 公明党が「連立離脱」というカードを早々に封印して行われた協議の限界である。

ABE'S EXPANDING VISION
■広がる首相の狙い

The talks between the LDP and New Komeito were initiated after Abe, in a news conference in May, made a passionate call for changing the government’s interpretation of the Constitution.
“Under the current interpretation of the Constitution, the SDF is not allowed to protect a U.S. vessel carrying Japanese nationals,” the prime minister said at the news conference.
 「日本人が乗っている米国の船を、自衛隊は守ることができない。これが憲法の現在の解釈だ」。与党協議は、先月の首相の記者会見での訴えを受けて始まった。

As the discussions began, however, it quickly became clear that the government envisions many other new roles that the SDF will play under the pretext of collective self-defense.
 ところが、いざ始まってみれば、政府の狙いがそればかりにあるわけではないことが次々に明らかになった。

Typical of Abe’s ambition to expand the scope of the SDF’s missions is his argument that Japan should contribute to minesweeping efforts in areas such as the Persian Gulf.
 ペルシャ湾を念頭に置いた自衛隊による機雷除去への首相のこだわりは、その典型だ。

Meanwhile, Abe has stressed in news conferences and Diet sessions that the security environment surrounding Japan is changing dramatically, citing China’s rapid military buildup and recent incidents of Chinese fighter jets flying dangerously close to SDF aircraft.
 一方、首相は記者会見や国会審議で、中国の軍備拡張や東シナ海での自衛隊機への異常接近などを例に挙げて、安全保障環境の変化を強調した。

To be sure, China’s military expansion is beginning to pose a security threat to Japan. But the issue of Japan’s right to collective self-defense does not have a direct bearing on the question of how to respond to China’s actions to put pressure on Japan related to the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands, which have made many Japanese uneasy. But this is a problem that should be dealt with under the context of the right to individual self-defense.
 中国の軍拡は日本への脅威となりつつある。ただ、多くの国民が不安に感じている中国の尖閣諸島に対する圧力は、集団的自衛権の議論とは直接には関係がない。本来、個別的自衛権の領域の話である。

Cases cited by the government include a response to the landing of a foreign armed group on a remote island belonging to Japan. But this problem has basically been solved by an agreement between the two parties to simplify the procedures for mobilizing the SDF for policing missions. The focus of the talks has already shifted from these issues.
 政府が事例に挙げた離島への武装集団の上陸への対応も、自衛隊が警察権にもとづいて出動する際の手続きを簡素化することでほぼ決着。議論の焦点はもはやそこにはない。

Why is the Abe administration using such half-baked, unconvincing arguments to make a headlong rush toward Cabinet approval to allow Japan to use its right to collective self-defense?
 なぜ、こんなちぐはぐな議論のもとで、集団的自衛権を認める閣議決定になだれ込もうとしているのか。

FOLLOW CONSTITUTIONAL PROCEDURES
■憲法に背を向けるな

The answer is clear.
 答えは明らかだ。

The Abe administration is not interested in serious policy debate on what should be done to ensure Japan’s security. Enabling the nation to exercise its right to collective self-defense has become its No. 1 political goal. Allowing the Abe administration to push its way to change the interpretation of the Constitution will create serious problems for the future.
日本の安全を確保するにはどうすべきなのかという政策論から入るのではなく、集団的自衛権の行使を認めること自体が目的になっているからだ。このまま無理やり憲法解釈を変えてしまっては、将来に禍根を残す。

If the prime minister really believes that using collective self-defense is vital for Japan’s national security, Abe should make a compelling case for his initiative without making an emotionally charged vow to “protect the lives” of people or playing up the security threat posed by China.
 集団的自衛権が日本の防衛に欠かせないというのなら、首相は「命を守る」と情に訴えるのではなく、ことさら中国の脅威を持ち出すのでもなく、理を尽くして国民を説得すべきだ。

After arguing his case, Abe should then initiate the process of amending the Constitution as stipulated in Article 96 for ratification by the people through a national referendum.
 そのうえで憲法96条に定めた改憲手続きに沿って、国民の承認を得る。

The radical security policy change envisioned by the prime minister will not pass the test of history unless it is made through this formal process of forming a national consensus.
 この合意形成のプロセスをへなければ、歴史の審判にはとても耐えられまい。

--The Asahi Shimbun, June 20

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