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2014年8月16日 (土)

(社説)戦後69年の言葉 祈りと誓いのその先へ

August 15, 2014
EDITORIAL: Japan needs meaningful language, not demagogic words, to discuss Aug. 15
(社説)戦後69年の言葉 祈りと誓いのその先へ

On the first Saturday of August, a demonstration was staged in Shibuya, one of Tokyo’s most vibrant shopping areas, where demonstrators repeatedly shouted, “Senso hantai” (No war), under a blazing sun.
 8月最初の土曜日、東京・渋谷で行われたデモ。「戦争反対」のコールが炎天下に響く。

Over the past 69 years, we have been able to safely assume that when Japanese talk about war, they most likely refer to the world war that ended on Aug. 15, 1945, with Japan’s defeat. When that is not the case, we have been able to say that the topic is probably a tragic incident that is happening somewhere outside Japan.
 この69年間、日本において戦争といえば、多くは1945年8月15日に敗戦を迎えた過去の大戦のことであり、そうでなければ、世界のどこかで起きている悲惨な出来事だった。

On July 1, however, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formally decided to change the government’s interpretation of the Constitution to make it possible for Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense. As a result, war is no longer something that happened in the distant past or that can only happen far away from this nation.
 だが7月1日、集団的自衛権の行使容認が閣議決定され、戦争は過去のものでも、遠くのことでもなくなった。

WAR AND JAPAN’S CURRENT SITUATION
 ■戦争と日本の現在地

There was no national consensus on the radical security policy change. We neither heard the government make a convincing case for supporting the move nor received a request from the government for our opinions about the policy shift.
 国民的合意があったわけではない。合意を取り付けようと説得されたことも、意見を聞かれたこともない。

Japan has been transformed from a country that never fights a war to a country that can go to war. This has been done by a limited number of people who have used far-fetched arguments to unilaterally change the way the government interprets certain words and discusses certain issues.
ごく限られた人たちによる一方的な言葉の読み替えと言い換えと強弁により、戦争をしない国から、戦争ができる国への転換は果たされた。

The speeches Abe delivered on Aug. 6 in Hiroshima and on Aug. 9 in Nagasaki, two special dates and places for Japan and humankind, were almost identical to his addresses at the same occasions last year. Not only that, he gave the cold shoulder to an atomic bomb survivor who told him that his argument for collective self-defense was not convincing. The prime minister bluntly replied, “It’s just a matter of opinion.”
 安倍首相は8月6日の広島、9日の長崎という日本と人類にとって特別な日の、特別な場所でのあいさつを、昨年の「使い回し」で済ませた。そればかりか、集団的自衛権に納得していないと声をかけた被爆者を「見解の相違です」と突き放した。

When significant differences in opinions arise about important issues, politicians should provide explanations to narrow the gaps with the public.
 見解の相違があるのなら、言葉による説得でそれを埋める努力をするのが、政治家としての作法である。

Abe, however, failed to make such efforts concerning either the state secrets protection law or the issue of Japan’s collective self-defense. After the decisions were made and the actions were taken, he just repeated that he would make efforts to win public support for these controversial policy initiatives through explanations.
ところが首相は、特定秘密保護法も集団的自衛権も、決着後に「説明して理解を得る努力をする」という説明を繰り返すだけ。

Abe doesn’t even try to conceal his contempt for the people with whom sovereign power resides.
主権者を侮り、それを隠そうともしない。

The estimated average life expectancies of Japanese men and women in the year the war ended with Japan’s defeat were 23.9 and 37.5 years, respectively. Now, the various valuable things this nation obtained at huge costs are being threatened.
 男性23・9歳。女性37・5歳。敗戦の年の平均寿命(参考値)だ。多大な犠牲を払ってようやく手にしたもろもろがいま、ないがしろにされている。

How has Japan drifted to such a situation?
 なぜ日本はこのような地点に漂着してしまったのだろうか。

An essay written by philosopher Shunsuke Tsurumi and published in 1946 offers some insights. It was titled “Kotoba no Omamori-teki Shiyoho ni Tsuite” (About the talismanic use of words).
 哲学者の鶴見俊輔さんが、敗戦の翌年に発表した論文「言葉のお守り的使用法について」に、手がかりがある。

“As long as politicians try to appeal to popular opinion with speeches and gobbledegook full of talismanic words without explaining their opinions in clear, concrete terms while the people readily adapt themselves to the astute way the politicians use talismanic words without trying to figure out what they really mean in a cool-headed manner, as long as this convention continues, the possibility remains that the kind of shady politics that was seen during the wartime will revive in some years.”
 「政治家が意見を具体化して説明することなしに、お守り言葉をほどよくちりばめた演説や作文で人にうったえようとし、民衆が内容を冷静に検討することなしに、お守り言葉のつかいかたのたくみさに順応してゆく習慣がつづくかぎり、何年かの後にまた戦時とおなじようにうやむやな政治が復活する可能性がのこっている」

TALISMANIC WORDS AND GOVERNMENT
 ■お守り言葉と政権

Talismanic words here mean words used by the powers that be in a demagogic manner or by ordinary people to protect themselves. Examples of such words used during the war are “kokutai” (national polity), “hakko ichiu” (the whole world under one roof) and “yokusan” (supporting the imperial rule). After the end of the war, these words were replaced by “democracy” and “freedom,” which were imported from the United States.
 お守り言葉とは、社会の権力者が扇動的に用い、民衆が自分を守るために身につける言葉である。例えば戦中は「国体」「八紘一宇(はっこういちう)」「翼賛」であり、敗戦後は米国から輸入された「民主」「自由」「デモクラシー」に変わる。

Using such words without knowing what they exactly mean is making what Tsurumi called “talismanic use” of words.
 それらを意味がよくわからないまま使う習慣が「お守り的使用法」だ。

Words that are originally intended as mere rhetorical flourishes gradually acquire influence while being frequently used and eventually become so powerful that they can be used effectively to silence criticism. There was, for instance, a situation during the war where the word “kokutai” forced people into tame submission even when their interests were harmed. Talismanic use of words leads people into undesirable situations before they know it.
当初は単なる飾りに過ぎなかったはずの言葉が、頻繁に使われるうちに実力をつけ、最終的には、自分たちの利益に反することでも、「国体」と言われれば黙従する状況が生まれる。言葉のお守り的使用法はしらずしらず、人びとを不本意なところに連れ込む。

When Abe began to advocate what he calls “proactive pacifism,” some people must have been unsure about what he meant and suspicious about what he intended to do.
 首相が、「積極的平和主義」を唱え始めた時。意味がよくわからず、きな臭さを感じた人もいただろう。

While people felt hesitant about criticizing any form of “pacifism,” Abe advertised this term internationally during his overseas trips. He then started claiming that he had won international support for his “proactive pacifism” in an attempt to create a fait accompli.
だが「平和主義」を正面から批判するのはためらわれ、そうこうしているうちに、首相は外遊先で触れ回り、「各国の理解を得た」と既成事実が積み上がる。

As it turned out, this vague concept of “proactive pacifism” was used as a slogan to replace Japan’s three long-established, highly restrictive principles regarding arms exports with the new “three principles concerning transfers of defense equipment.” Not surprisingly, this term is mentioned three times in the Cabinet’s statement endorsing Japan’s use of its right to collective self-defense.
果たして「積極的平和主義」は、「武器輸出三原則」を「防衛装備移転三原則」へと転換させる際の理屈となり、集団的自衛権行使容認の閣議決定文には3度出てくる。

Other examples include “toward a beautiful country,” “a departure from the postwar regime” and “Abenomics.”
 美しい国へ。戦後レジームからの脱却。アベノミクス――。

How should Japanese people, as sovereign members of society, respond to this administration of “talismanic words?”
 さあ、主権者はこの「お守り言葉政権」と、どう組み合えばいいのだろうか。

NEW LANGUAGE FOR AUG. 15
 ■8・15を、新たに

During the Aug. 9 ceremony to mark the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Miyako Jodai, who delivered a speech as the representative of hibakusha, said, “The initiative to allow Japan to use its right to collective self-defense that is now under way is an outrageous act of trampling on Japan’s Constitution.”
 「今、進められている集団的自衛権の行使容認は、日本国憲法を踏みにじった暴挙です」

 9日、長崎での平和祈念式典。被爆者代表として登壇した城臺美彌子(じょうだいみやこ)さんがアドリブで発した、腹の底からの怒りがこもった言葉が、粛々と進行していた式典の空気を震わせた。

These words, which Jodai uttered on the spur of the moment, reflected her profound anger about what is happening and charged the air at the ceremony, which was proceeding quietly.
 ぎょっとした人。ムッとした人。心の中で拍手した人。

Some people were taken aback by her words, while others were offended. There were also people who applauded her in their minds. Her words provoked strong emotions, whether they were sympathy or antipathy, and stood in sharp contrast to the prime minister’s “recycled speech.”
共感であれ反感であれ、他者の思考を揺さぶり、「使い回し」でやり過ごした首相を照らす。

The episode demonstrated the power that words can have.
 まさに言葉の力である。

On the day when the anti-war demonstration was held in Shibuya, people were apparently shaken by what the demonstrators said. A woman glared at the protesters and said in disgust: “I don’t see the point of what you are doing. Just go to vote.” Her friend, who was walking beside her, just shrugged it off with a bitter smile.
 デモ隊が通り抜けた渋谷でも、揺さぶられている人たちがいた。隊列をにらみつけ、「こんなことやる意味がわかんない。ちゃんと選挙行けよ」と吐き捨てる女性を、隣を歩く友人が苦笑いで受け止める。

There was also a couple who mimicked the “No war” chanting of the demonstrators and rolled about laughing.
「戦争反対」とデモのコールをまねて笑い転げるカップル。

The rally at least created a slight crack in daily life.
日常に、ささやかな裂け目が生じた。

The only way for us to avoid being hypnotized by talismanic words is to voice our own words based on our own thinking, not those borrowed from others, and make them heard.
 お守り言葉に引きずられないためには、借り物ではなく、自分の頭で考えた言葉を声にし、響かせていくしかない。

We should be able to talk in our own plain language about what kind of society we want to live in and what happiness means to us.
どんな社会に生きたいのか。何を幸せと思うのか。自分なりの平たい言葉で言えるはずだ。

Aug. 15 is supposed to be a day to quietly mourn for the war dead. In recent years, however, it has become a day filled with patriotic utterances.
 8月15日は本来、しめやかに戦没者を悼む日だった。しかし近年は愛国主義的な言葉があふれ出す日に変わってしまった。

We need to find our own words to commemorate Aug. 15, which should be neither a day of silence nor a day of noisy demagogy.
静寂でも喧噪(けんそう)でもない8月15日を、私たちの言葉で、新たに。

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 15

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