FT: Nazi gaffe exposes constitutional ambition of Japan’s LDP – FT.com 日本没有放弃修宪梦

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August 17, 2013 by Water Wisdom

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Taro Aso, Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister, Says Tokyo Could Learn From Nazis’ Tactics
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/31/taro-aso-nazis-japan_n_3682801.html

FOLLOW: Japan, Taro Aso, Taro Aso Japan, Taro Aso Deputy Prime Minister, Taro Aso Gaffe, Taro Aso Nazi Comments, Taro Aso Nazis, Japan Deputy Prime Minister, Japan Nazis, Nazis, World News
Japan’s gaffe-prone deputy prime minister has said Tokyo could learn from Nazi Germany when it comes to constitutional reform, prompting a rebuke from a Jewish human rights group.

In a statement on its website late Tuesday, the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Center called on Taro Aso to clarify his comments that Tokyo, which is mulling a change to its pacifist constitution, should look to the way the Nazis quietly adopted reforms.

“First, mass media started to make noises (about Japan’s proposed reforms), and then China and South Korea followed suit,” Aso was quoted by Japanese media as saying in a speech Monday to a conservative think tank.

“The German Weimar constitution changed, without being noticed, to the Nazi German constitution. Why don’t we learn from their tactics?”

In response, the Jewish rights group said: “The only lessons on governance that the world should draw from the Nazi Third Reich is how those in positions of power should not behave”.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the Japanese government’s top spokesman, on Wednesday declined to answer media questions about the comments, saying “deputy prime minister Aso should answer that question”.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has said it wants to revise the US-imposed pacifist constitution to define Japan’s defence forces as a full-fledged military force, amid territorial tensions with neighbours China and South Korea.

That has stirred strong emotions in Beijing and Seoul which have long maintained that Japan has never come to terms with its militaristic past.

Aso, who is also Japan’s finance minister, is known for his sometimes uncomfortable remarks, including saying earlier this year that elderly people should “hurry up and die” to avoid taxing the country’s medical system.

Copyright (2013) AFP. All rights

日本没有放弃修宪梦
英国《金融时报》 乔纳森•索布尔 东京报道

安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe)和他领导的日本执政联盟迄今为止一直干得不错——民意支持率处于历史高位,股市繁荣,并且在六年来首次完全掌控了国会。人们真的很难想象他们会整出什么妖蛾子来把事情搞砸。好吧,你可以搜索一下“麻生太郎”(Taro Aso)加“纳粹”(Nazis)。

安倍的副首相兼财相本周出现了一次离奇而令人反感的失言,他似乎对德国纳粹在两次世界大战期间偷偷摸摸修改宪法的行为表示了赞赏。麻生对支持者表示,纳粹的做法似乎为日本保守派的修宪努力提供了一个范本。

麻生周一表示:“我们应该悄悄地推进。突然有一天,人们发现魏玛宪法已经变成了纳粹宪法。没有人注意到整个过程。我们为何不学习这种做法?”

麻生之前就曾频频失言。今年1月,在讨论医保费用日益上涨时,他说应该帮助老年人“快一点死”。事实上,在日本,关于延长老年人健康期、同时缩短痛苦的临终期的辩论是正当的。但这一事实没给麻生带来什么帮助。他被人们斥为口无遮拦的蠢蛋。

麻生关于纳粹的思考引发了言辞激烈的攻击。他一开始提到,魏玛宪法——“欧洲最先进的宪法”——未能阻止纳粹上台。这个论点本是为了反驳一些左翼人士和曾沦为日本殖民地的亚洲国家的一个观点:美国强加在日本头上的和平宪法,是阻止日本从民主制倒退回独裁制的唯一屏障。麻生并未说明为何一部自由程度更低的宪法要更好一些,但至此他的话还没有出格。但接下来,事情就开始变得奇怪了。没过一会儿,他便开始称赞纳粹的老谋深算,并说出了一些令其对手有更充分理由担忧的话。

当麻生的言论传开后,从中韩政界到西蒙•维森塔尔中心(Simon Wiesenthal Centre),每个人都表达了对这种言论的震惊。

昨日,在麻生表示收回该言论的同时,日本政府首席发言人菅义伟(Yoshihide Suga)也觉得有必要“强调安倍政府决不赞同纳粹德国”。

除了引发一些人的怒火,这次插曲还让人们注意到,主导执政党自民党的文化保守派没有放弃他们的修宪梦。上月,安倍在参议院选举后承诺,他会暂时搁置修宪问题,集中精力关注经济事务。这一承诺旨在打消公众和投资者的疑虑。日本公众在修宪问题上存在意见分歧。投资者则担心修宪之争将使日本政府无法全身心地推进经济改革。

很多人认为,如今右翼的计划是在3年后重提修宪问题。下一次大选很可能会在那时举行。这里的假定是,安倍经济学将确保经济蓬勃发展,并为自民党吸引来更多选民,使其获得启动修宪所需的绝对多数支持。但另一方面,为了拉拢住保守派支持者(安倍似乎一直在这样做),很难对该计划秘而不宣。

新宪法能否让日本受益值得商榷。2005年自民党就起草了一套替代方案,不仅要废除禁止组建军队的规定(其实半个世纪以来日本一直通过模糊解读在无视这一禁令),还加上了限制公民权利的条款——批评人士称,此举将令公民权利沦为“社会秩序”的附庸。

矛盾的是,自民党自身或许正是现行宪法的最大受益者之一。1955年以来,自民党一直执掌日本政府,只有4年时间例外,尽管其意识形态较多数选民偏右。民众把票投给自民党,却不必担心该党会干预防务或他们的权利,因为宪法不允许党派在这些方面多做文章。

安倍、麻生及其同僚认为选民会全力支持他们的议程。倡议新宪法或许是一种更加直率的政治手段,但对日本以及自民党而言,这种手段的风险或许更大。

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