憲法改正 実現への布石を周到に打て

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 26, 2013
Prepare carefully for long, winding road of amending the Constitution
憲法改正 実現への布石を周到に打て(7月25日付・読売社説)

Debate on amending the Constitution has taken concrete form since the recent House of Councillors election. It is imperative that discussions on the issue be developed further.
 参院選を機に具体化した憲法論議をさらに発展させたい。

We urge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his administration to carefully and throughly take steps to gather momentum to realize the goal of amending the Constitution.
 安倍政権は、周到に布石を打ち、改正への機運を高めていくべきだ。

A point of contention during the upper house campaign was whether to change Article 96, which stipulates procedures for constitutional revision. Parties have argued over whether to relax the requirements for amending the Constitution.
 参院選では、憲法改正の手続きを定めた96条の改正発議要件の緩和が大きな焦点になった。

Currently, the approval of at least two-thirds of the legislators in both chambers of the Diet is necessary to initiate amendments to the top law. After the upper house election, the parties that actively support amending the Constitution–the Liberal Democratic Party, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party–still did not have a two-thirds majority in the chamber. Hurdles remain high for amending the top law.
 憲法改正に積極的な自民党、日本維新の会、みんなの党の議席は合計しても、参院では改正の発議に必要な「3分の2以上」とならなかった。ハードルは高い。

However, if the seats held by New Komeito–which favors adding new philosophies and provisions to the Constitution without changing the existing ones–are factored in, that would achieve the two-thirds requirement. Komeito’s actions hold the key to constitutional revision.
 ただ、憲法の内容を変えずに新たな理念・条文を加える「加憲」の立場の公明党の議席を合わせると3分の2に届く。公明党の対応が極めて重要である。

Komeito should present ideas

According to the party’s pledges for the upper house election, it seeks to discuss a number of issues regarding “adding new elements” to the Constitution: environmental rights, expanding the scope of local autonomy, stipulating the existence of the Self-Defense Forces in the top law and how the nation should contribute to the international community.
 公明党は、参院選公約に「加憲」論議の対象として環境権や地方自治拡充、自衛隊の存在の明記、国際貢献の在り方を挙げている。

We urge New Komeito to hold thorough discussions on the issues and specify its ideas in a draft proposal. That would help clarify the similarities and differences between New Komeito and other parties, such as its coalition partner, the LDP, on the issues. It would also help expand discussions on amending the Constitution.
 党内で検討を重ね、具体的な条文を作成してはどうか。自民党などとの共通点、相違点が明確になり、議論が深まろう。

Meanwhile, Your Party has said there are other things to be accomplished before amending the Constitution, including civil service reform. The party has proposed radical ideas for civil service reform, such as eliminating the jobs of 100,000 national government officials and allowing government officials to be laid off as easily as employees at private companies, in exchange for giving them the right to strike.
 みんなの党は「憲法改正の前にやるべきことがある」として公務員制度改革を掲げた。具体的には「国家公務員の10万人削減」「スト権を付与する代わりに民間並みのリストラを可能にする」といった急進的な案を唱えている。

We can never agree to making such reforms a precondition for amending the Constitution, as the two issues can be dealt with simultaneously.
 これを憲法改正の前提条件にすることは、甚だ疑問である。同時並行で検討すればよい。

Start from pending issues

Abe has said he will deal with constitutional revision “without haste, and move forward on the issue with persistence.” The prime minister stressed he will first deal with unresolved issues involving the National Referendum Law, which was enacted during the first Abe administration. We believe Abe’s decision is appropriate, as those issues will lay the basic groundwork for amending the Constitution.
 安倍首相は、「腰を落ち着けてじっくり進めていく」と述べ、第1次安倍内閣で成立した国民投票法の“宿題”から始める考えを強調している。改正への環境を整えるうえで、妥当な判断である。

The National Referendum Law stipulates procedures for a national referendum for constitutional amendments. It allows those aged 18 and older to participate in such referendums.
 憲法改正のための国民投票法は投票権を18歳以上に与えた。

To be consistent, the law’s supplementary provisions require lawmakers to discuss lowering the minimum voting age for elections, which is stipulated in the Public Offices Election Law, and the age of adulthood stipulated in the Civil Code, from the current 20 to 18. The provisions also call for the review of the National Civil Service Law, which limits the political activities of government officials.
 その付則で公職選挙法の選挙権年齢「20歳以上」や民法の成年年齢を、同じく18歳に引き下げることの検討を求めている。公務員の政治的行為を制限した国家公務員法などの見直しも盛り込んだ。

All the issues are long overdue. Lawmakers were expected to reach conclusions on the issues before the National Referendum Law was put into force in May 2010.
 いずれも、2010年5月の国民投票法施行までに結論を出しておかねばならない課題だった。

We urge both the ruling and opposition parties to start discussions on the unresolved issues as soon as possible.
 与野党は、早急に協議を始めてもらいたい。

Even if the Diet succeeds in initiating constitutional amendments, it is the public that makes the final decision on revising the Constitution via referendums. A majority of all votes cast in a referendum is needed to amend the Constitution–it would never be an easy task.
 たとえ国会が憲法改正を発議できたとしても、最終的に決めるのは国民投票だ。過半数の賛成を得るのは、容易ではなかろう。

LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba has revealed the idea of hosting meetings across the nation aimed at explaining to the public the necessity of amending the Constitution. The meetings would be carried out as easy-to-understand dialogues, according to Ishiba.
 自民党の石破幹事長は、憲法改正についての「対話集会」を各地で開き、国民にその必要性を丁寧に説明する考えを示している。

To amend the Constitution, efforts to nurture public awareness of the necessity of constitutional amendments are essential. There are three years left, at most, before the next national election. The time should be used strategically for the goal of amending the Constitution.
 憲法改正が必要だという国民意識を高める努力は欠かせない。次期国政選まで最大3年という時間を戦略的に使うべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 25, 2013)
(2013年7月25日02時15分 読売新聞)

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srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク

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