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2014年8月15日 (金)

終戦の日 平和国家の歩みを堅持したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Anniversary of war’s end sees Japan still committed to path of peace
終戦の日 平和国家の歩みを堅持したい

◆集団的自衛権で抑止力高めよ
Today, Aug. 15, marks again the anniversary of the end of the war.
 今年も、「終戦の日」を迎えた。

This is the day we renew our pledge of peace and our determination not to engage in war, while also quietly paying tribute to the memory of those who died in World War II.
 先の大戦の戦没者を静かに追悼するとともに、平和と不戦への誓いを新たにする日である。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration decided in July on a new constitutional interpretation that acknowledged the country’s limited ability to exercise the right of collective self-defense.
 安倍政権は7月、集団的自衛権の行使を限定的に容認する新たな政府見解を決定した。

In connection with this, Mayor Tomihisa Taue of Nagasaki expressed “anxiety and apprehension” in the Peace Declaration of Nagasaki on the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of that city on Aug. 9, stating that “the rushed debate over collective self-defense has given rise to the concern that this principle [of pacifism] is wavering.” Others are also averse to the government’s reinterpretation of the Constitution, making such claims as that the new government view could “pave the way for Japan to again take part in a war.”
 これに関連し、長崎市の田上富久市長は「長崎平和宣言」で、「平和の原点がいま揺らいでいるのではないか、という不安と懸念」に言及した。ほかにも、「日本が戦争に参加する道を開く」などと新見解に反発する声もある。

Govt not seeking war
◆「戦争する国」は曲解だ

The new government view, however, is by no means an attempt to make it easier for Japan to take part in a war. On the contrary, it is aimed at minimizing that possibility by strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance and Japan’s cooperation with the international community to enhance the nation’s deterrent against war.
 だが、新見解は無論、戦争に参加するためのものではない。逆に、戦争の可能性を極小化するため、日米同盟と国際連携を強化し、抑止力を高めることが目的だ。

The security environment surrounding Japan has been deteriorating rapidly in recent years. North Korea has been pushing ahead with nuclear weapons and missile development programs, while China has been bolstering its armaments and repeatedly conducting self-righteous maritime advances. The menace of international terrorism has also been surging.
 日本の安全保障環境は近年、急速に悪化した。北朝鮮は核・ミサイル開発を続け、中国は軍備を増強し、独善的な海洋進出を繰り返す。国際テロの脅威も増した。

It is urgent for this nation to firmly establish a system capable of coping effectively with new security situations.
 新たな情勢に的確に対応できる防衛体制の確立が急務だ。

During the 69 years since the war’s end, Japan has seen the benefits of peace and prosperity, having never attacked any other country or been subject to invasion from abroad.
 日本は戦後69年間、他国に攻撃を仕掛けることも、海外から侵略されることもなく、平和と繁栄を享受してきた。

Peace cannot be maintained simply by chanting the slogan, “Let’s defend Article 9 of the Constitution.”
 「憲法9条を守る」と唱えるだけでは、平和は維持できない。

It is of major significance that this country, in the years after the war, founded the Self-Defense Forces and built up its defense capabilities in a manner suited to changes in the times, while concluding the Japan-U.S. security treaty and steadily strengthening the bilateral ties of the alliance.
 自衛隊を創設し、時代に応じた防衛力を整備する一方、日米安保条約を締結し、同盟関係を着実に強化してきたことが大きい。

Although no SDF personnel have been killed in war, more than 1,800 have so far died in the line of duty from such causes as accidents and illness. We must always remember that Japan’s security is ensured through the inconspicuous day-to-day efforts of the SDF.
 戦死者こそ出ていないが、公務中の事故や病気などで殉職した自衛官はこれまで、1800人を超す。日本の安全が、自衛隊の日々の地道な活動に支えられていることを忘れてはなるまい。

When the Japan-U.S. security treaty came under revision in 1960, emotional objections erupted based on the claim that Japan would be drawn into war, splitting public opinion in two.
 1960年の安保条約の改定時には、「戦争に巻き込まれる」といった情緒的な反対論が噴出し、国論を二分する騒動となった。

It has been historically proven, however, that the Japan-U.S. alliance functioned effectively both during the Cold War between East and West, when there was a military threat from the Soviet Union, and under the fluid circumstances in East Asia after the Cold War ended.
 だが、ソ連の軍事的脅威が存在した東西冷戦中も、冷戦終結後の流動的な東アジア情勢下でも、日米同盟が有効に機能してきたことは、歴史が証明している。

The Japan-U.S. alliance is now acknowledged by many countries as “a public asset” needed for the stability of Asia.
 日米同盟は今、アジアの安定に欠かせない「公共財」として、多くの国に認知されるに至った。

The government used the SDF in a restrained way in the initial days of its existence, but has since expanded its role in stages to include such fields as international peacekeeping activities. This progress by Japan as a peace-loving country ever since the war’s end has been highly praised by the international community.
 当初は、自衛隊を抑制的に運用していたが、徐々に国際平和活動などに役割を拡大した。そんな戦後日本の平和国家の歩みは、国際社会に高く評価されている。

The approval of limited exercise of the right of collective self-defense is an extension of such peacekeeping efforts by Japan and has been supported and hailed by most countries other than China and South Korea. This fact is extremely significant.
 集団的自衛権の行使容認は、その延長線上にあり、中韓両国を除く、大半の国に支持、歓迎されている。その事実は極めて重い。

The change in the government’s constitutional interpretation has made it possible for the SDF to protect U.S. warships and missiles from attack. Measures will be worked out to handle contingencies in various situations. Through repeated drills, the ability to seamlessly respond in every situation from peacetime to emergencies will be maintained. Such endeavors will enhance the effectiveness of deterrence.
 憲法解釈の変更で、米艦防護やミサイル防衛などが可能になる。様々な事態に備え、有事の対処計画を立案する。訓練を重ね、平時から有事まで、切れ目のない対処能力を保持する。そうした努力が抑止力の実効性を高める。

Inflammatory arguments
◆扇動的な「徴兵制」論議

Some people have made inflammatory claims that the change in the interpretation of the Constitution will lead to a revival of the prewar conscription system. They contend this will happen due to difficulties recruiting SDF personnel because they will be told to go to war, but this is a specious assertion.
 解釈変更には、「戦前の徴兵制の復活につながる」との扇動的な批判が一部にある。「戦争に行けと言われるため、自衛官が集まらなくなるから」というのは、曲論にほかならない。

A military draft is prohibited outright by the Constitution. Like its principles of pacifism and an exclusively defensive posture, this tenet will never change. The reinterpretation of the Constitution was restricted in order to maintain the spirit of the nation’s top law. The government must explain these points in detail to the public.
 そもそも憲法は徴兵制を否定している。平和主義や専守防衛と同様、この原則に一切変更はない。解釈変更を限定的にしたのも、憲法の精神を堅持するためだ。政府は、こうした点を国民に丁寧に説明することが求められる。

It is essential for Japan to remain a country that the United States can trust and that is worthy of being protected.
 今後、大切なのは、日本が、米国にとって信頼でき、守るに値する国であり続けることだ。

If the Maritime Self-Defense Force does not take any action when U.S. warships are attacked in the Sea of Japan, the bilateral alliance might collapse. The action one takes when someone is in need determines whether one is a true friend.
 日本海で米軍艦船が攻撃された際、海自が傍観しているようでは、同盟は崩壊しかねない。相手が助けを要する時の行動こそが、真の友人かどうかの試金石となる。

It is also indispensable for Japan to play a role commensurate with its national strength in such fields as U.N. peacekeeping operations, based on the Abe administration’s strategy of “proactive contribution to peace.”
 安倍政権の「積極的平和主義」に基づき、日本が国連平和維持活動などで国力にふさわしい役割を果たすことも欠かせない。

Improve security environment
◆安保環境を改善せよ

Japan’s contributions to improving the world’s security environment through such efforts as reducing hotbeds of terrorism and preventing conflicts would be directly linked to its own security. Such endeavors would also lead to Japan becoming a country worth being protected by the international community.
 テロの温床を減らし、紛争を予防するなど、世界の安全保障環境の改善に対する日本の貢献は、自国の安全に直結する。国際社会にとって、日本が守るに値する国になることにもつながる。

The government’s new constitutional interpretation limits the range of what would amount to “an integration of the use of force,” which is banned under the Constitution, and enable urgent rescue missions by the SDF to help foreign troops. It is highly significant for the SDF to take a more active part in building peace.
 新たな政府見解は、憲法が禁じる「武力行使との一体化」の範囲を限定し、他国部隊への「駆けつけ警護」も可能にした。自衛隊がより積極的に平和構築に関与する意義は大きい。

It is also essential for Japan as a pacifist nation to step up its diplomatic activities. Japan must reinforce cooperation with countries concerned to establish a system that will not allow the status quo to be changed through force and will try to resolve disputes peacefully based on international law.
 平和国家としての外交活動の強化も重要だ。「力による現状変更」を許さず、国際法に基づいて問題を平和的に解決する体制作りに向け、関係国と連携を深めたい。

Based on the new constitutional interpretation, it is crucial to beef up deterrence by making military and diplomatic strategies function as two wheels on the same cart.
 新見解を踏まえて、軍事と外交を「車の両輪」として機能させ、抑止力を強めることが肝要だ。

This is the only way to ensure that Aug. 15 remains the only date on which we commemorate the anniversary of a war’s end.
 それこそが、8月15日以外に、新たな「終戦の日」を作ることを防ぐ道となろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 15, 2014)

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