個人と国家と憲法と 歴史の後戻りはさせない

–The Asahi Shimbun, May 3
EDITORIAL: Values embodied in Constitution made Japan what it is today
(社説)個人と国家と憲法と 歴史の後戻りはさせない

A booklet published on May 3, 1947, provided a commentary on the “freedom” guaranteed by the Constitution.
One passage read: “What is freedom? In a nutshell, it means to live according to one’s conscience.”
Another passage went on to say: “We are allowed to have any thought. We have the freedom to hold any kind of meeting and create any kind of organization.”
The booklet, titled “Atarashii Kenpo Akarui Seikatsu” (new constitution, sunny life), was published on the day Japan’s postwar Constitution came into effect by “Kenpo Fukyukai” (society for the popularization of the Constitution), a parliamentary body headed by Hitoshi Ashida, a lawmaker who became prime minister in 1948. Some 20 million of the booklets were distributed to households across the nation.
「自由とはいったい何であろうか。一口にいえば自分の良心に従って生きることである」
「私たちはどんな考えを持ってもよい」「どんな会合をやっても、どんな団体をつくっても自由である」
これは、いまの憲法が施行された69年前のきょう、憲法普及会(芦田均会長)が全国の家庭向けに2千万部発行した小冊子「新しい憲法 明るい生活」が説明する「自由」だ。

“For a long time, even our basic freedoms have been restricted. We had been desperately wishing for greater freedom. Now, our wish has been realized,” said the booklet, which was awash with phrases and expressions that reflected the joy of being freed from the oppression of the wartime militarist government.
「長い間私たちには、その自由さえも制限されていた。私たちは何とかしてもっと自由がほしいと願っていた。いまその願いが果(はた)されたのである」。冊子には、戦時下の息苦しさからの解放感に満ちた言葉が並ぶ。

The preamble to the Constitution declares that the authority of government is derived from the people and its powers are exercised by the representatives of the people, while its benefits are enjoyed by the people. These principles of popular sovereignty and representative democracy are “universal principles” that have been established through popular uprisings in modern times, such as the French Revolution.
国政の権威は国民に由来し、権力は国民の代表者が行使し、その福利は国民が受け取る――。憲法前文が明記するこの主権在民と代表民主制の原理は、フランス革命など近代の市民革命によって獲得された「人類普遍の原理」だ。

Japan’s postwar social system has been defined by the Constitution that took effect nearly seven decades ago.
70年近くがたち、新たな社会のしくみは戦後日本に定着した。

Unfortunately, the government has shown signs of wanting to put certain limits on the freedom of individuals and impose specific values on the citizens of this country.
ただ一方で、国家が個人の自由に枠をはめたり、特定の価値観を押しつけたりしようとする動きがちらつき始めた。

AMENDMENT OF EDUCATION LAW
■改憲のさきがけか

That trend emerged 10 years ago.
10年前にさかのぼる。

The Fundamental Law of Education, which also took effect in 1947 and was touted as the “constitution of education,” was revised for the first time from start to finish.
憲法と同じ年に施行され、「教育の憲法」と言われた教育基本法が、初めて、そして全文が改正された。

When he came to power in 2006 with a pledge to “unshackle Japan from the postwar regime,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made revision of the education law a policy priority for his first tenure.
「戦後レジームからの脱却」を掲げて政権についたばかりの安倍首相が、最重要課題としていた。

The revised Fundamental Law of Education stipulates, along with respect for individuals and other countries, a set of moral standards as “goals of education.” These standards are aimed at helping students develop a commitment to “love their nation and native land” and “contribute to the development of society with public-mindedness.”
「我が国と郷土を愛する」「公共の精神に基づき、社会の発展に寄与する」。改正法には、個人や他国の尊重に加え、こうした態度を養うという道徳規範が「教育の目標」として列挙された。

The provisions of the law with regard to the relationship between the government’s education policy and schools and teachers were also rewritten to place greater emphasis on “public” than on “individuals.” Critics said the principal objective of the law changed from defining the role of the government in education to instructing the people about education.
教育行政と学校現場との関係にかかわる条文も改められ、「個」よりも「公」重視、行政を律する法から国民に指図する法へとその性格が変わった、といわれた。

Back then, Abe told the Diet that revising the law would not lead to tighter state control on education.
安倍首相は当時、教育基本法を改正しても「国家管理を強めることにはならない」と国会で答弁していた。

But since he returned to power in 2012 after spending the intervening period as an opposition lawmaker, Abe has rolled out a series of education policy measures based on the “spirit of the revised Fundamental Law of Education,” which he has eagerly promoted.
ところが、下野をへて政権に復帰した安倍氏は、「改正教育基本法の精神」を前面に掲げ、新たな教育政策を次々と繰り出している。

The most symbolic initiative of his new education policy concerns the rules for school textbook screenings and authorization by the government.
その最たるものが、教科書検定の新しいルールだ。

The new rules allow the government to disqualify textbooks that have “serious flaws” from the viewpoint of the “goals of education” set out by the revised law.
改正法で新たに盛り込まれた「教育の目標」に照らし「重大な欠陥」があれば不合格にできる。

They also give the government the authority to demand that descriptions in textbooks match the official position on issues raised.
政府見解がある事柄には、それに基づいた記述を求める。

This year, the rules have been applied to the screening of high school textbooks for the first time. As a result, descriptions about topics such as postwar reparations and the government’s decision to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, on which the nation has been divided, reflect the Abe administration’s claims and arguments concerning these issues.
高校の教科書に初めて適用された今年の検定では、戦後補償や世論が割れる集団的自衛権の行使容認などで、政権の主張が反映された記述になった。

The education minister has called on national universities to ensure that the national flag is hoisted and the national anthem is sung at ceremonies. This request, which raise questions about academic freedom and university autonomy, was prompted by Abe’s remarks at the Diet that these matters should be dealt with appropriately in line with the principles of the Fundamental Law of Education.
また、文科相による国立大への「国旗・国歌」の要請は、学問の自由や大学の自治にかかわる問題だが、そのきっかけは「教育基本法の方針にのっとって正しく実施されるべきだ」との首相の国会答弁だった。

STATE PLAYING A MORE ASSERTIVE ROLE
■前面にせり出す国家

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party announced a new draft Constitution in 2012 that echoes the goals of the revised Fundamental Law of Education.
自民党が12年にまとめた憲法改正草案は、改正教育基本法のめざす方向と一致する。

The draft is designed to allow the government to play an excessively assertive role. In contrast, the freedoms and rights of individuals are de-emphasized.
草案では国家が過剰なまでに前面にせり出す。後退するのは個人の自由や権利だ。

The draft’s preamble says the purpose of establishing a new Constitution is to “hand down good traditions and our nation to all posterity.”
草案前文の憲法制定の目的は「良き伝統と我々の国家を末永く子孫に継承するため」だ。

This stands in sharp contrast to the preamble to the current Constitution, which refers to the people’s determination to secure liberty and renounce war.
現憲法の「自由の確保」や「不戦」とは様変わりだ。

The LDP’s draft Constitution also says “the Japanese people shall defend their nation and native land with pride and resolve and, while respecting basic human rights, shall also respect harmony and help form a nation through mutual help between family members and all members of society.”
また、「日本国民は、国と郷土を誇りと気概を持って自ら守り、基本的人権を尊重するとともに、和を尊び、家族や社会全体が互いに助け合って国家を形成する」と規定する。

At the same time, Article 12 of the document says the people’s freedoms and rights shall be exercised “always in ways that don’t go against the interests of the public or undermine public order.”
一方で、国民の自由や権利の行使には「常に公益及び公の秩序に反してはならない」(12条)との枠をはめている。

The ruling party wants to ensure that the Constitution not only reflects the principles of constitutionalism but also Japan’s “national character,” Yosuke Isozaki, a former special adviser to Abe, once said.
「憲法は立憲主義だけでなく、国柄をきちんと反映したものにもしたい」(礒崎陽輔前首相補佐官)というのが党の考えだ。

But specific values and ideals should not be imposed on citizens by the Constitution, no matter how many people think they have the moral high ground.
だが、たとえどんなに多くの人が「道徳的に正しい」と考える内容であっても、憲法によってすべての国民に強いるべきものではない。

Teruyuki Hirota, a professor of educational sociology at Nihon University who is well versed in education issues in Japan, warns that such political intervention is inherently dangerous.
教育現場に詳しい広田照幸・日大教授は、政治の動きを踏まえて警鐘を鳴らす。

“A political desire to guide children toward a certain way of life through education could be directed at the entire nation through a constitutional amendment,” he says.
「『こういう生き方をさせたい』という教育の場での政治的欲望が、こんどは憲法改正を通じて国民全体にふってくるかもしれない」

UNACCEPTABLE POLICY OBJECTIVES
■押しつけは筋違い

The question is whether individuals exist for the nation or the nation exists for individuals.
In his book “Atarashii Kuni-e” (toward a new nation), Abe addresses this issue.
個人あっての国家か、国家あっての個人か。安倍首相は、自著でこう述べている。

“It is the nation that guarantees the freedom of individuals. If this function (of the nation) is stopped by another nation’s rule, it is obvious that the people’s fundamental rights will be restricted.”
「個人の自由を担保しているのは国家なのである。それらの機能が他国の支配によって停止させられれば、天賦の権利が制限されてしまうのは自明であろう」(『新しい国へ』)

It is the role of the state to protect its people from attacks by another state. But that doesn’t give the government the right to impose its ideals and vision for the nation and the way of life on the people with whom sovereign power resides as elements of Japan’s “national character.”
他国の攻撃から国民を守るのは国家の役割だ。かといって権力が理想とする国家像や生き方を、「国柄だから」と主権者に押しつけるのは筋が違う。

Allowing the government to do so would be tantamount to reversing the wheel of history in postwar Japan where the “universal principles” have been so firmly entrenched in its society.
それを許してしまえば、「普遍の原理」を社会に根付かせてきた歴史の歩みを、後戻りさせることになる。

広告

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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