欢迎访问译联翻译公司!  联系邮箱:fanyi@translian.com
当前位置:首页 > 新闻动态 > 译联动态

新闻动态 / NEWS



作者: 来源: 日期:2016/8/17 8:11:13

Japan’s abdication dilemma pits modernisers against neo-nationalists





Emperor Akihito has had a good run. As the first Japanese emperor to ascend the throne as a “symbol of the state” rather than as a divine priest-king, he has done much — along with his wife, Empress Michiko, the first commoner to marry into the imperial family — to humanise a secretive, remote and starchy institution.

明仁天皇(Emperor Akihito)是一位成绩斐然的君主。作为首个以“国家象征”而不是神圣的祭祀王(priest-king)身份继承皇位的日本天皇,明仁天皇在妻子智子皇后(Empress Michiko)——第一个嫁入皇室的平民——的陪伴下作出了大量贡献,将神秘、高高在上和刻板的天皇制度变得人性化。广州日语翻译公司。


Outside Japan, it is hard to imagine how unusual it was for the emperor and empress to visit scenes of natural disaster, such as the Kobe earthquake in 1995, and kneel on the floor to talk to the victims like fellow human beings. Emperor Hirohito, Akihito’s father, tried to do something like this after the war, when the American occupiers insisted on it, but his behaviour was so stilted and the encounters with his subjects so awkward that the experiment was swiftly abandoned.

外国人很难想象天皇和皇后探访灾区——如1995年神户大地震——并像平民百姓一样跪坐在地上与受灾者说话,是件多么不寻常的事。当年在美国占领者的坚持下,明仁天皇的父亲裕仁天皇(Emperor Hirohito)在战后也曾试图做一些这样的举动,但他做得很不自然,与臣民沟通的场面十分尴尬,结果这一实验很快被放弃了。


Today’s emperor has also done his bit to heal the wounds of war with other Asian nations. He has told his subjects on several occasions to reflect on their country’s aggression in Asia and to learn from it. In China in 1992 he expressed “deep sorrow” about the hardships inflicted on the Chinese by Japan. This is a lot more than most Japanese prime ministers have managed.



Now the emperor has done something else highly unusual. Not only has he hinted at his desire to abdicate but he did so by broadcasting this directly to his subjects. This was a calculated move because most Japanese citizens are bound to sympathise with an 82-year-old who feels too weak after cancer treatment and heart surgery to continue doing his job for much longer. They recognise this as a human problem. Some people have even invoked the principle of individual human rights to allow the emperor to step down when he wishes.



This is important for there are no provisions in Japanese law for an abdication. And the emperor, who is a symbol after all and not a political actor, cannot simply decide to go. The more liberal media, such as the Asahi newspaper, have argued that this is the perfect opportunity for a nationwide debate, not only on the appropriate role of a modern monarchy but also on other aspects of the imperial system, such as the right of women to succeed.

此事对并无退位条款的日本法律来说非常重要。天皇毕竟是一个象征,而不是政治身份,不能简单地决定退位。《朝日新闻》(Asahi Shimbun)等偏自由派的媒体认为这是一次展开全国辩论的绝佳机会,不仅围绕现代君主制的适当角色,还可涉及天皇制度的其他方面,比如女性的继承权等。广州日语翻译公司。


All this flies in the face of what conservatives, such as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his supporters, want. The Japanese version of the worldwide wave of politicians promising “to get our country back” is to undo the postwar constitutional order put in place by the Americans.

然而这一切都与保守派——如日本首相安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe)及其支持者——的想法背道而驰。“让我们重新掌控自己的国家”这一风靡当今世界的政客承诺的日本版,便是改写二战后美国人设定的宪政秩序。


The prime minister, backed by a variety of nationalist organisations often linked to rightwing Shintoists, wants to get rid of Japan’s constitutional obligation to refrain from armed combat abroad. He also wants to revive “moral education” by boosting patriotic pride, downplaying Japanese war crimes and restoring religious reverence for the emperor. The language in the constitution about universal rights would be replaced by references to Japan’s unique culture.



To unpick the postwar order and restore full sovereignty on these terms, the government needs the backing of two-thirds of the Diet, which is entirely possible, and of the population after a referendum, which is much less certain. Indeed, the fallout of the Brexit vote in the UK has made the government more cautious about embarking on a polarising referendum.



Another possible brake on the wave of neo-nationalism might come from the throne itself. Naruhito, the crown prince, is said to share his father’s beliefs in pacifism and the need to learn the lessons of Japan’s dark recent past. There is little evidence that he would have any interest in being an object of mystical reverence. One of the oddities of Japan is that the imperial family appears to be more progressive than its most conservative worshippers.



The revisionists, who do not like to see the emperor as a man of flesh and blood, and much less the idea of a woman on the throne, are in a bind. Because of their beliefs, which resemble those of the most orthodox Catholics vis-à-vis the Pope, they must regard the emperor as infallible. The chairman of Nippon Kaigi, a powerful nationalist organisation that promotes a rather positive view of Japan’s last war, was asked in a press conference in Tokyo how he squared this notion with the emperor’s more critical approach. “The emperor is always right,” he replied.

不愿将天皇视为一位有血有肉的普通人、更不愿看到女性继承皇位的修正主义者们左右为难。由于他们的信仰(与最正统的天主教徒和教皇类似),他们必须将天皇视为毫无瑕疵。支持对日本二战历史持更正面观点、颇具影响力的民族主义组织“日本会议”(Nippon Kaigi)主席在东京一次记者会上被问到,他如何把自己的观点同天皇所持的更具批判性的态度统一起来。他答道:“天皇永远正确。”


That is why, after Emperor Akihito’s broadcast, Mr Abe has been obliged to take the possibility of his abdication seriously. The emperor cannot be refused. This may be a questionable attitude to monarchy but it could have the paradoxical effect of keeping ultraconservatives from doing their worst.



The writer is author of ‘Inventing Japan’ and a professor at Bard College, New York

本文作者著有《发明日本》(Inventing Japan)一书,是纽约巴德学院(Bard College)教授