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2016年7月 4日 (月)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡 : 選挙で大人の階段上る /東京

July 3, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Voting is Japanese youths' new rite of passage
香山リカのココロの万華鏡 : 選挙で大人の階段上る /東京

Revisions to the Public Offices Election Law lowering the legal voting age to 18 from 20 came into effect this year, just in time for the July 10 House of Councillors election.
 公職選挙法が変わり今度の参院選から選挙権の年齢が「20歳以上」から「18歳以上」に引き下げになった。

There are some people who wonder if 18-year-olds, most of whom are still in high school, are capable of choosing a candidate and voting properly, but I for one am in favor of the new voting age. I think it's excellent that young people now have the chance to express their strong opinions about our society.
 「18歳の多くはまだ高校生、候補者を選んできちんと投票なんてできるの?」という疑問の声もあるが、私は個人的には賛成だ。若い人にも積極的に社会に対して自分の意見を表明できるチャンスがあるのは、とてもいいことだと思うからだ。

However, to the question, "Is an 18-year-old really an adult who can formulate a solid opinion?" I would have to answer "no." Until the present era, the psychology community considered 18 to be the age when a person had more or less got a good grasp on what kind of person they were. They were ready to start work, or go onto more specific study in university, or to begin looking for their life partner.
 しかし「18歳は自分の意見をはっきり決められるおとなか」と言われると、「それは違う」と答えたほうがよさそうだ。従来の心理学の考え方だと、人は18歳くらいまでに「自分とはどんな人間か」がだいたい見えてきて、そのあと就職したり、より専門的な勉強のために大学に行ったり、パートナーを求めて恋愛をする、ということになっていた。

But what about now? I believe that there are very few 18-year-olds now who have a firm idea of who they are, or who can make solid decisions grounded in their own will about study and work. From this perspective, it's understandable to think that 18 is too early an age to start voting.
 いまはどうだろう。18歳で「自分は何者か」がはっきりわかっていて、仕事や専門を自分の意志でしっかり決められるという人は少ないと思う。そう考えれば、たしかに「18歳での選挙権は早すぎる」となるのかもしれない。

However, that begs the question: "How old does a person need to be to make their own decisions?" There are more and more people these days who declare that, though they are legal adults, they are still "searching" for themselves. There are ever more people in their 30s, 40s or even 50s who come to my practice and tell me, "I can't find myself. I've tried a lot of different things, but I just can't think of a job or a lifestyle that's really me."
 しかし、ではいったい何歳なら自分で決められるのか。最近は、「年齢は成人だがまだまだ“自分さがし中”」という人も増えている。30代どころか40代、50代になっても「自分が見つからない。いろいろトライしてもどれも自分らしい仕事、生き方と考えられない」と悩み、診察室にやって来る人たちも増えている。

There are others whose sons or daughters have started their adult lives, and the parents ask me, "Will my kids be OK?" Some admit to being so concerned they call the companies their children work for.
また、社会人になった息子や娘が心配で「ウチの子、大丈夫でしょうか」と診察室について来たり、勤め先の会社に電話したりして尋ねる親もいる。

That being the case, I think we ought to give 18-year-olds -- many of them nearing graduation from high school -- the vote, simply to say to them, "All right, now is the time to use your head. You ought to be able to make a choice for now (in an election)." This will usher them into adulthood, a full member of adult society, hopefully sparking a new self-awareness. Then parents, too, may be able to tell themselves that their teenage child, heading out to vote, has become an independent individual.
 だとしたら、と私は思うのだ。高校を卒業する年齢に近づく18歳になったら、「もうあなたは自分の頭で考え、とりあえずの選択ができるはず」ということにして、選挙権を与えてよいはずだ、と。そうやって「おとなの一員」に若者を迎え入れることで、若者も自覚が生まれると期待できるし、その親たちも「わが子は選挙に行くひとりの独立した人間なのだ」と自分に言い聞かせることができるかもしれない。

I'd like to add that today's young people have spent their entire lives in a Japan that is struggling economically, and have a pretty good idea of what the world has in store for them. As the world goes through its upheavals, there are many young people who have used the free flow of information across our planet to develop a real globalist sense.
 それに、いまの若者たちは生まれたときから不況という状況の中で、かなり世の中の状況がしっかり見えている。世界が激動する中で、ネットを駆使しながらグローバルな感覚を身につけている若者も多い。

I have high expectations of the coming upper house election and its newly enfranchised 18- and 19-year-old voters. We have to somehow get adults who say they have "no interest in politics or elections" involved again, too.
 18歳、19歳が参加する今度の選挙にとても期待している。おとなも「政治や選挙には関心ないんだよね」などとうかうかしていられない。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist) (精神科医)

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