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2008年9月20日 (土)

金融危機

(Mainichi Japan) September 19, 2008
Japan needs to rethink emergency economic measures in wake of U.S. financial crisis
社説:米国発金融危機 日本は緊急施策の見直しを

The U.S. financial crisis, which has triggered the collapse of major financial institutions and prompted government bailouts, will have harmful consequences for the Japanese economy.
 大手金融機関が経営破綻(はたん)や政府による救済にまで立ち至った米国の金融危機は、日本経済にも悪影響を及ぼす。

Japan's real GDP shrank in the second quarter (April to June) at an annualized rate of 3 percent compared with the previous quarter, and there are no signs that a recovery is underway in the third quarter, which ends on Sep. 30. If the financial crisis sends the U.S. economy into a deep recession, not only will Japan's exports fall off but also private-sector facilities investment will dry up. And if corporate performance deteriorates, workers' wages will stagnate, and personal consumption will decline.
 今年4~6月期の実質成長率は前期比、年率でマイナス3%だった。7~9月期も立ち直りの兆候は出ていない。米国経済が金融危機の影響でより不況色が強まれば、日本は輸出の減少のみならず、海外需要を当てにしてきた民間設備投資の停滞も深くなる。企業業績が悪化すれば勤労者の賃金も伸び悩み、個人消費も抑えられる。

While these developments could set off a global depression, the Liberal Democratic Party, which is in the midst of a presidential election, and politicians on the whole have been oblivious to them.
 ところが、総裁選中の自民党のみならず、政治全体が、世界同時不況をも招きかねない事態への感度が鈍いと言わざるを得ない。

On Wednesday, the government convened an economic and fiscal consultative meeting, the first such meeting since it adopted a comprehensive economic stimulus package on Aug. 29. The intent of the economic stimulus package is to jumpstart the Japanese economy, which is facing a global downturn triggered by the U.S. subprime crisis and high oil prices. The most urgent measures in the package are supposed to be implemented right away.
 政府は17日、経済財政諮問会議を開いた。「緊急総合対策」を決定した先月29日以来だ。総合対策は米国のサブプライム問題に端を発した世界的な成長鈍化や原油高に直面している日本経済へのテコ入れ策だ。緊急を要する施策は直ちに実行するとされている。

But during the three weeks that have passed since the end of last month, the global economy has been jarred by upheaval. Hence, the implications of recent developments for the Japanese economy have also changed. The recent upheaval notwithstanding, Japan's politicians have yet to muster a response. And Wednesday's economic and fiscal consultative meeting did not go beyond analyzing the current situation.
 先月末からの約3週間、世界経済は激動した。日本経済への影響も、違ってきたはずだ。それにもかかわらず、政治は動かなかった。17日の会議も情勢分析段階にとどまった。

The more urgent the policy, the greater the caution that will need to be exercised to implement measures to carry it out. At one time, the price of oil had soared to 140 dollars a barrel, but has since fallen to 90 dollars a barrel. It is only natural, then, that the measures in the emergency stimulus package that address high oil prices be given a second look.
 緊急性の高い対策であればあるほど、講ずべき施策の内容は異なってくる。一時、1バレル=140ドル水準まで高騰した原油価格は、反落し90ドル程度になっている。総合対策の原油高騰への緊急対策は、内容を見直すのが当然だ。

If the U.S. financial crisis grows more severe, Japanese financial institutions may be compelled to screen borrowers more strictly and be more apt to restrict lending. But small and medium-sized firms would bear the brunt of such changes. That is why measures that aim to give a shot in the arm to the finance sector or to prevent cutbacks in lending will become even more important.
 米国の金融危機が深刻化すれば、日本の金融機関も連想で、厳密な審査など、貸し出しを絞る行動に出やすい。そのあおりを受けるのが中小・零細企業である。そこで、金融の円滑化や貸し渋り対策は一段と重要になる。

Furthermore, if exports languish for a long period of time, and the value of the yen continues to climb in foreign exchange markets, companies will try to restore their competitiveness by squeezing their subcontractors to extract lower prices from them. The government will then have to respond by beefing up its measures to protect subcontractors.
 また、輸出の低迷長期化や外国為替市場で円高が進めば、元請け企業は競争力回復のため下請け代金の切り下げなどに走りがちだ。下請け企業へのしわ寄せである。こうしたことへの対応として、下請け事業者保護対策は強化しなければならない。

Though a political vacuum exists today, any attempt by the current administration to slack off and postpone economic management and policy decisions will not be tolerated. As has been the case in the U.S. financial crisis, conditions in Japan can change drastically in a flash. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's Cabinet must shoulder the responsibility of managing the economy until the next prime minister is designated in the extraordinary Diet session. Since the government has already adopted a stimulus package, it must, while assessing events as they unfold, conduct a review of its emergency economic measures and seek to give them concrete shape.
 政治空白と言われる状況にせよ、時の政権が経済運営や政策判断を怠ることや後回しにすることは許されない。米国の金融危機のように短期間に状況は激変する。福田康夫内閣は臨時国会で次期首相指名が行われるまで、経済運営を担わなければならない。総合対策を決定した以上は、事態の進行を見定めつつ、緊急実行施策は見直しも行い、具体化しなければならない。

It is still not clear when the supplementary budget to fund additional fiscal measures will be compiled and deliberated in the Diet. Though the general elections are looming, it is absurd that the LDP has still not determined its own policy on this issue.
 追加予算措置が必要な施策のための補正予算をいつ編成し、国会審議はどうするのかも明らかでない。総選挙の時期と絡んでいるにしろ、自民党の方針が定まっていないのはおかしい。

Since the global economy is changing from moment to moment, the proper way to manage the Japanese economy would be to assess new developments accurately and then devise the necessary remedies.
 世界経済は刻々と変化している。それを的確にとらえ、必要な施策を講ずるのが正常な経済運営の姿だ。

毎日新聞 2008年9月18日 0時19分

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