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パレスチナ和平 米国の仲介努力は奏功するか

2013-07-31 05:36:00 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 30, 2013
Israeli-Palestinian talks resumption 1st step in U.S. Mideast peace effort
パレスチナ和平 米国の仲介努力は奏功するか(7月29日付・読売社説)

It is imperative to ensure that emerging positive signs in the Middle East result in a resumption of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians after a hiatus of about three years.
 イスラエルとパレスチナの約3年ぶりの直接交渉の実現へ、つなげることが肝要だ。

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who has pressured Israel and the Palestinian Authority since March, announced on July 19 that both sides “have reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis.” Ministerial-level officials from both parties are to meet in the near future to work out the terms and preconditions for the negotiations, according to U.S. government officials.
 イスラエルとパレスチナ自治政府に和平交渉再開を働きかけてきたケリー米国務長官が、「交渉再開のための基本的な部分で合意に達した」と発表した。
 近く、双方の閣僚級の担当者が詰めの協議を行うという。

The Palestinian Authority has set the goal of establishing a Palestinian state, and Japan, the United States and European nations as well as Arab states have thrown their support behind this goal.
 自治政府側は、パレスチナ国家樹立を目標に掲げており、日米欧やアラブ諸国は支持している。

Kerry’s endeavors pay off

The long-envisaged establishment of a Palestinian state, however, will not be possible without Israel’s agreement. We strongly hope the Israelis and Palestinians hold direct talks to begin the process of having the two sides live side by side in peace and security.
ただ、イスラエルの同意が不可欠だ。イスラエルと自治政府の直接交渉が再開され、平和共存への歩みが始まることを、期待したい。

The broad agreement is the fruit of mediation efforts by Kerry, who, after assuming the post of secretary of state in February, traveled many times to the Middle East.
 今回の基本合意は、2月に就任したケリー国務長官が何度も中東に足を運び、仲介した成果だ。

With upheavals continuing in the wake of the Arab Spring, U.S. policies have been put to the test. While the civil war in Syria has bogged down with no clear end in sight, Egypt, a major power in the Middle East, has been unable to resolve its political problems.
 「アラブの春」の激動が続く中東で、米国の存在感が問われている。シリア内戦は泥沼化し、地域の大国エジプトは政情不安定から抜け出せないでいる。

It appears the United States hopes to play a role conducive to stabilizing the Middle East situation by using its diplomatic leverage to bring about peace between Israel and Palestinians.
 米国は、イスラエルとパレスチナの和平仲介を中東外交立て直しの契機とし、中東の安定に役割を果たしたいのだろう。

The basic accord to hold preliminary talks appears partly due to Israel’s adopting more moderate policies after realizing its inflexible hard-line stance in dealing with the Palestinians left it internationally isolated.
 基本合意の成立は、強硬一辺倒のパレスチナ政策で国際的に孤立したイスラエルが、軌道修正を図ったことにもよる。

In a U.N. General Assembly session last year, a resolution in favor of giving the Palestinian Authority the status of a “nonmember observer state” was adopted by an overwhelming majority vote despite intense opposition from the United States and Israel.
 昨年の国連総会では、米国、イスラエルの反対にもかかわらず、パレスチナに「オブザーバー国家」の地位を与える決議案が、圧倒的多数で可決された。

Israel’s sense of crisis increased when the international community, particularly Israel’s biggest trade partner, Europe, intensified criticism of Israel’s continuing construction of settlements in the West Bank.
 ヨルダン川西岸への入植活動強行に対し、国際社会、とりわけ最大の貿易相手の欧州が批判を強めていることに、イスラエルは危機感を強めている。

A freeze in settlement construction would help pave the way for realizing a resumption of dialogue with the Palestinian Authority.
 イスラエルが入植活動を中止することで、自治政府との対話再開への道も開くのではないか。

The Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, must resolve the current situation in which its authority is limited only to the West Bank, with the Gaza Strip remaining under the control of the Islamist organization Hamas. This is essential for the Palestinian Authority if it wants to show that it is the proper party to negotiate with the Israelis.
 自治政府の側も、交渉当事者の能力を示すには、統治が及ぶのはヨルダン川西岸だけでガザ地区はイスラム主義組織ハマスの支配下のまま、という現状を解消する必要がある。

Japan must help out

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida toured the Middle East region last week. In separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, he pressed them to resume peace talks.
 岸田外相は先週、中東を歴訪し、イスラエルのネタニヤフ首相、パレスチナ自治政府のアッバス議長とそれぞれ会談し、和平交渉の再開を促した。

In addition, Kishida conferred with ministers from Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan over ways to utilize an agricultural park to process farm produce. The park is under construction in the West Bank city of Jericho with the support of Japan.
 また、日本の支援でヨルダン川西岸エリコに建設中の農産加工団地の活用を巡って、イスラエル、自治政府、ヨルダンの関係閣僚と4者協議を行った。

The agreement among Kishida and the others on the project should be rated highly.
 岸田外相らが協力緊密化で合意したのは、評価できる。

Japan must continue to make such diplomatic efforts by extending a helping hand to encourage peace moves by the Israelis and Palestinians.
 和平を側面支援するこうした外交努力を、今後も継続したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 29, 2013)
(2013年7月29日01時19分  読売新聞)

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朝鮮休戦60年 平和妨げる北朝鮮の核武装化

2013-07-30 05:35:55 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 29, 2013
Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions continue to be impediment to peace
朝鮮休戦60年 平和妨げる北朝鮮の核武装化(7月28日付・読売社説)

The 60th anniversary of the signing of the armistice in the Korean War comes as North Korea continues to push ahead with its nuclear programs.
 北朝鮮が核武装化を進める中で、朝鮮戦争の休戦協定調印から60年の節目を迎えた。

The Korean War began with the North’s invasion of the South in 1950, and claimed the lives of more than 3 million people before the armistice was signed three years later.
 1950年、北朝鮮の韓国侵攻で始まった朝鮮戦争は、死者300万人以上の惨禍をもたらし、3年後、休戦協定の調印でひとまず収まった。

Fierce fighting between U.S.-led U.N. Command forces backing South Korea and China, which deployed Chinese People’s Volunteer Army troops because it feared North Korea would collapse, ended with a divided Korean Peninsula in the absence of a peace treaty.
 米軍主導の国連軍が韓国を支援し、北朝鮮の崩壊を恐れる中国が人民志願軍を送り込んだ激戦の後始末は、南北分断を固定化しただけで、平和を保障していない。

China’s change of mind

The North and South are continuing their military confrontation across the Demilitarized Zone, and there is a danger the situation could explode into an armed conflict.
南北朝鮮が対峙(たいじ)する状況は、依然、爆発しやすい危険性をはらむ。

North Korea, which falsely claims the armistice was a “victory,” celebrated the 60th anniversary of the signing of the armistice on Saturday with a massive military parade in Pyongyang.
 休戦を「勝利」とごまかす北朝鮮は調印60年の27日、平壌で大規模な軍事パレードを行った。

The scale of the parade was aimed apparently at flaunting the power of Pyongyang’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, the first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, while diverting the people’s increasing discontent over the country’s wrecked economy.
 若い金正恩第1書記の権威を誇示し、経済の破綻で高まる国民の不満をかわす狙いがあろう。

The biggest concern for Japan and other countries is the beefing up of North Korea’s nuclear programs, which Kim has been promoting. Massive throngs of armed soldiers marched in the Pyongyang parade as if trying to impress the rest of the world with the strength of the North’s ability to wage war with missiles and nuclear weapons.
 日本など国際社会の最大の懸念材料は、第1書記が進める核戦力強化だ。パレードにも、核・ミサイル戦力の向上を印象づけたいかのような兵器部隊が登場した。

As a matter of course, North Korea has been forced to pay the piper. The U.N. Security Council has imposed economic sanctions on Pyongyang for repeatedly carrying out nuclear tests and test-launching long-range ballistic missiles.
 無論、その代償は大きい。国連安全保障理事会は、長距離弾道ミサイル発射と核実験を繰り返す北朝鮮に経済制裁を科した。

China’s recent change from its conventional stance of fully defending North Korea appears to have made the international coalition against the North more solid.
 中国が、北朝鮮擁護の姿勢を転換したことも、北朝鮮包囲網を狭める効果を生んだ。

During the military parade, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao stood alongside Kim on the podium overlooking Pyongyang’s main Kim Il Sung Square. Li reportedly told Kim that Beijing was determined to maintain its policy of pursuing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, working to ensure peace and security on the peninsula and resolving tensions through dialogue and consultations.
 軍事パレードの観閲席で金第1書記の横に立った中国の李源潮国家副主席は、「朝鮮半島の非核化実現、平和と安全の維持、対話と協議による解決を堅持する」と第1書記に伝えたという。

This can be taken as a message to Pyongyang to return to the six-nation talks, as Beijing is resolved not to allow North Korea to possess nuclear weapons or engage in military provocations.
 北朝鮮の核保有や武力挑発を許さず、6か国協議への復帰を求めるメッセージだ。

China, as the largest donor country and trade partner of North Korea, has a life-or-death influence over the North. Beijing’s stance on seeking North Korea’s denuclearization will now be put to the test.
中国は、最大の支援国、貿易相手国として北朝鮮の生殺与奪の権を握る。今後、非核化への本気度が問われよう。

In regard to North Korea’s call for a direct dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington, the United States has made such a dialogue contingent on the North abandoning its nuclear ambitions. This condition is quite reasonable.
 米国は、北朝鮮が求める対話には、まず北朝鮮が非核化への具体的な行動を取るよう条件を付けている。北朝鮮の核廃棄が対話目的であるべきで、当然の前提だ。

North must heed others

Pyongyang, for its part, must heed the voices of Japan, the United States and South Korea, which are calling on the North to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
 北朝鮮は、核放棄を促す日米韓の声を真摯(しんし)に聞く必要がある。

The environment surrounding the Korean Peninsula has changed dramatically since the signing of the armistice.
 朝鮮半島を取り巻く環境は、休戦当時とは大きく変わった。

For one thing, South Korea has established diplomatic relations with China, and the value of its trade with Beijing has expanded to such an extent that it has surpassed its combined trade with Japan and the United States.
 韓国は、中国と国交を樹立し、対中貿易額は、対米、対日の貿易総額を凌駕(りょうが)するまでに至った。

North Korea has made the choice of becoming a nuclear power, with the result that it cannot normalize diplomatic relations with Japan or the United States. As it has been driven into a corner, Pyongyang has even declared it is ready to “pull out of the deal” concerning the armistice agreement.
 一方の北朝鮮は、核武装化への道を選択し、米国や日本との国交正常化の展望を開けずにいる。行き詰まった末に、朝鮮休戦協定の「白紙化」まで宣言した。

Japan, the United States, China and South Korea must remain vigilant to prevent North Korea from conducting new nuclear tests, missile launches or military provocations by firmly maintaining stringent sanctions to pressure Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear programs.
 日米中韓など関係国は、さらなる核実験や弾道ミサイル発射、武力挑発への警戒を怠らず、強力な制裁を堅持して、北朝鮮に核放棄を迫っていかねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 28, 2013)
(2013年7月28日01時09分  読売新聞)

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首相アジア演説 ASEAN重視戦略の表明だ

2013-07-29 05:04:09 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 28, 2013
Abe’s increased focus on ASEAN partnership a strategic move
首相アジア演説 ASEAN重視戦略の表明だ(7月27日付・読売社説)

A speech made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday served as a strong message to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a key economic and security partner of Japan.
 経済・安全保障の重要なパートナーである東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)に対する強いメッセージだ。

During his visit to Southeast Asia, Abe delivered the speech on the Japan-ASEAN relationship in Singapore.
 東南アジア歴訪中の安倍首相が、シンガポールで日本とASEANの関係をテーマに政策演説を行った。

Using an airplane to describe relations between Japan and the rapidly growing region, Abe said, “Japan and ASEAN are like twin engines on the right and left wings.”
 急成長している東南アジア地域の経済圏を飛行機に例え、「日本とASEANは、左右両翼のツイン・エンジンだ」と述べた。

The prime minister also said his Abenomics economic measures would benefit ASEAN countries as both Japan’s imports from and exports to ASEAN members have doubled over the past decade. Abe is apparently determined to further bolster Japan-ASEAN ties.
 首相は、日本とASEANの輸出入額がこの10年間でそれぞれ倍増したとし、経済政策「アベノミクス」の効果はASEANにも及ぶと語った。さらに関係を強化する決意と言える。

Both Malaysia and Singapore, which Abe visited this week, are participants in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact. Japan will likely seek ways to partner with them when the TPP talks enter the final stage.
 今回訪れたマレーシア、シンガポール両国は、日本が参加した環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉のメンバーでもある。今後の大詰め交渉で、連携を模索することも課題となろう。

Beyond economic alliance

Abe stressed that the nation’s relationship with ASEAN encompasses more than economic matters, saying the ties are “meaningful in ensuring regional security, particularly freedom of navigation at sea.” This year marks the 40th anniversary of Japan-ASEAN friendship and cooperation.
 一方、首相は、今年で「友好協力40周年」を迎えたASEANとの関係は今や、経済にとどまらず、「地域の安全保障、とりわけ航海の自由に責任を持つ間柄」であることも強調した。

He made such remarks apparently with China in mind, as Beijing has attempted to assume control of the East and South China seas. Especially now, when Japan’s ties with China and South Korea have become strained, it is strategically significant for the government to deepen its partnership with ASEAN.
 東・南シナ海への強引な海洋進出を図る中国を念頭に置いたものだ。中国、韓国との関係が不安定だけにASEANとの連携を深めるのは戦略的に有意義である。

On Friday, Abe also met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who has been touring Asia. This meeting was seemingly effective in highlighting the Japan-U.S. alliance, which could be conducive to ensuring peace and prosperity in Southeast Asia.
 首相がアジア歴訪中のバイデン米副大統領と会談したことも、この地域の平和と繁栄に寄与する日米同盟の存在をアピールするうえで効果的だったといえよう。

Abe was to meet with Philippine President Benigno Aquino in Manila on Saturday. During the meeting, Abe was expected to express his intention to provide the Philippines with patrol ships through the Official Development Assistance program.
 首相は、27日にはマニラで、フィリピンのアキノ大統領と会談する。政府開発援助(ODA)を活用し、巡視船を供与する考えを表明する見通しだ。

The Philippines has been at loggerheads with China over the sovereignty of the Scarborough Shoal and other territories in the South China Sea. In light of this, helping the Philippines boost its maritime capability could serve as a symbolic aid gesture to benefit the whole ASEAN community.
 フィリピンは、南シナ海のスカボロー礁などの領有権をめぐって中国と対立している。その海上保安能力の向上を日本が後押しすることは、ASEAN全体に対する日本の意思表示にもなる。

Look to China allies

This is already Abe’s third visit to Southeast Asia since returning to power. Of the 10 ASEAN member countries, he has visited seven.
 首相の東南アジア訪問は、就任以来早くも3回目だ。訪ねた国は加盟10か国のうち七つに上る。

Cambodia and Laos, both nations that have close ties to China, are among the ASEAN members. With due consideration for local circumstances in both countries, the prime minister should also visit these nations in a bid to increase their understanding of Japan.
 ASEANの中には、カンボジアやラオスのように中国寄りとされる国もある。首相はこうした国も訪問し、各国の事情に配慮して、きめ細かに日本への理解を拡大していくべきだ。

China has apparently attempted to undermine Japan-ASEAN relations due to its alarm over Abe’s aggressive diplomacy in the region.
 中国側にも、安倍外交を意識して、ASEAN各国を分断しようとする動きが見える。

To prevent military tensions with China from escalating, it is vital for Japan to seek regional stability in line with international regulations and the spirit of the rule of law by working together with the United States and other countries.
 日本は、軍事的緊張を高めないよう、米国などと連携し、国際法と法の支配にのっとった地域の安定を目指すことが肝要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 27, 2013)
(2013年7月27日01時26分  読売新聞)

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TPP交渉参加 攻守両にらみ戦略で挽回せよ

2013-07-28 05:49:54 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 27, 2013
Hammer out effective strategy to redeem lost time in TPP talks
TPP交渉参加 攻守両にらみ戦略で挽回せよ(7月26日付・読売社説)

At last Japan has entered talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral trade agreement, which have so far been conducted by 11 countries, including the United States.
 日本がようやく、米国など11か国が進める環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉に参加した。

Regarding Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stressed, “We will make full use of our negotiating power to protect what needs protecting and push for what we want, to seek the best way to serve national interests.”
 安倍首相は、「交渉力を駆使し、守るべきものは守り、攻めるべきものは攻め、国益にかなう最善の道を追求する」と強調している。

To ensure that this country can make up for the time lost due to its late entry into the TPP talks, the government must beef up its defensive and offensive strategies.
 政府は、出遅れ挽回へ、攻守両にらみの戦略を強化すべきだ。

The latest round of TPP negotiations took place in Malaysia from July 15, and Japan joined the talks as the 12th member for only two and a half days in the final phase of the round that ended Thursday.
 TPP交渉会合がマレーシアで開かれ、日本は12番目のメンバーとして2日半だけ合流した。

By taking part in the talks, Japan received for the first time a pile of texts on the TPP negotiations comprising 29 chapters on such subjects as abolition of tariffs, intellectual property rights and investment.
 関税撤廃、知的財産権、投資など29章に及ぶTPP交渉をまとめた文書が、初めて日本に開示された。

Talks may be prolonged

It is of great significance that Japan can now grasp the entire picture of issues that have been discussed among TPP members.
全体像を把握できるようになった意味は大きい。

The next TPP gathering is scheduled for late August in Brunei, while consultations on the TPP between Japan and the United States will be conducted in parallel with the Brunei round from August on.
 次回会合は8月末にブルネイで開かれ、日米協議も8月以降、並行して行われる。

The government must waste no time working out how to deal with the increasingly accelerating pace of the TPP talks by making a detailed analysis of the assertions of each participant country.
政府は各国の主張を分析し、加速する交渉への対応を急がねばならない。

The United States and some other TPP participants have set a goal of finalizing a basic agreement in the negotiations by October and concluding the talks by the end of the year. The TPP representative of Malaysia said in a news conference on Thursday that his country will energetically engage in discussions to complete them as scheduled.
 米国などは、10月の基本合意と年内妥結を目標に掲げている。マレーシアの代表も25日の記者会見で、「妥結期限に間に合うよう精力的に議論する」と強調した。

However, the TPP countries are still at loggerheads regarding the abolition of tariffs, the main point of contention, which has apparently caused the negotiations to stall.
 ただし、最大の焦点の関税撤廃を巡っては各国が対立し、交渉が停滞している模様だ。

Given the current pace of the talks, it is unlikely they will be concluded by the end of the year. Indications are that the negotiations may continue into next year.
 今のペースでは年内決着は難しく、交渉が越年する可能性がある。

Although Japan, as a late starter, remains in a difficult position in the negotiations, prolonged talks may give Japan more room to make up for lost time.
日本の立場は依然厳しいが、出遅れを取り戻す余地は広がろう。

In its platform for the recent House of Councillors election, the Liberal Democratic Party pledged to “give top priority to securing exemption of five agricultural products,” including rice and wheat, from tariff abolition.
 自民党は参院選で、コメ、麦など「農産物5品目の聖域を最優先する」と主張した。

In the upper chamber election, Toshio Yamada of the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA Zenchu) secured his reelection as one of the highest-ranking winners in the proportional representation contest. Yamada has pledged to press the government to protect national interests without fail in the TPP talks.
 全国農業協同組合中央会(JA全中)出身の山田俊男参院議員が比例選の上位で再選され、国益を守り抜くよう求めている。

Another upper house member, Hidehisa Otsuji, who ran in the Kagoshima prefectural constituency on a platform of opposing the TPP, won an upper house seat for the fifth time.
TPP反対を掲げた鹿児島選挙区の尾辻秀久参院議員も5選された。

‘Going on the offensive’

While some LDP legislators remain firmly opposed to the TPP, the government and the LDP must buckle down to swiftly push ahead with concrete measures for improving the competitiveness of the nation’s agriculture, in preparation for further opening of the domestic farm market to foreign competition.
 党内にはなおTPP反対論がくすぶるものの、政府・自民党が急ぐべきは、一層の市場開放に備えて、農業の競争力を強化する具体策を推進することである。

Given that the TPP is aimed at a high degree of trade liberalization, protecting rice and other farm products as exemptions from tariff abolition will not necessarily secure Japan’s national interests.
 TPPは高水準の自由化が目標で、コメなど全てを関税撤廃の例外扱いとして守ることが日本の国益に資するとは限らない。

A well-balanced strategy must be hammered out in this respect.
バランスの取れた戦略が必要だ。

Of higher importance for Japan is to “go on the offensive” by increasing exports of motor vehicles and electronics through tariff abolition, as well as establishing an environment conducive to business activity through such steps as lifting restrictions on capital investment from abroad.
 自動車、電機などの関税撤廃による輸出拡大や、外資規制撤廃といったビジネス環境整備での「攻め」がむしろ重要と言える。

The envisaged TPP pact will constitute a huge free trade zone accounting for about 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.
 TPPは世界の国内総生産(GDP)の約4割を占める巨大な自由貿易圏である。

Japan must utilize the TPP to tap the vigor of other economies in Asia, to spur the nation’s economic growth.
日本はTPPでアジアの活力を取り込み、成長に弾みを付けねばならない。

How can Japan play a leading role in crafting trade and investment rules in Asia? How to address this challenge is of crucial significance, and could determine the fate of the growth strategy on which the Abe administration has placed such importance.
 日本がアジアの貿易・投資ルール作りをどう主導するのか。安倍政権が重視する成長戦略の行方をも左右する正念場になる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 26, 2013)
(2013年7月26日01時18分  読売新聞)

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憲法改正 実現への布石を周到に打て

2013-07-27 06:22:21 | 英字新聞

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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