« 東証2日連続で1万円割れ | トップページ | 米輸入義務量の削減 »

2008年10月 9日 (木)


(Oct. 9, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Extra measures needed to prop up economy

「補正」衆院通過 株急落の対策をためらうな(109日付・読売社説)

The great wave of the global stock market meltdown slammed into the Tokyo markets again Wednesday. The key Nikkei Stock Average plunged nearly 1,000 points, and the U.S. dollar briefly dove below 100 yen.


The Japanese economy is finding itself on increasingly shaky ground. The government should accelerate drawing up additional measures to prop up and revive the economy.


The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a supplementary budget for fiscal 2008. The extra budget, which is worth about 1.81 trillion yen, includes an economic package that centers on the establishment of a new credit guarantee system for small and midsize companies, and a subsidy for farmers, fishermen and forestry workers whose businesses have been severely affected by high oil prices.


These two policies are based on comprehensive economic measures the government drew up before the U.S.-triggered financial crisis escalated into turmoil on a global scale.


The situation now, however, is alarming. Although the United States passed a 700 billion dollars bailout package for the troubled financial industry, stocks there are in free fall, causing markets around the world to slide.


On Wednesday, the 225-issue Nikkei index dropped well below the 10,000 mark to 9,203.32, marking its lowest close since June 30, 2003.



Bankruptcies on rise

More than 1,000 firms went bankrupt in September, according to data released Wednesday by a private credit research agency. This was the fourth straight month in which at least 1,000 companies went belly-up. Total debts left by these failed companies were the second-largest in postwar Japan. The deterioration in the real economy is pushing stock prices even lower.


Given these circumstances, the supplementary budget, of course, must be passed through the Diet quickly. However, the sheer size of the problem demands that a second move--and possibly further measures--also should be implemented.


In a rare move, the Democratic Party of Japan approved the supplementary budget in a vote at the lower house's Budget Committee. DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama had previously criticized the budget, saying, "Such a budget will never help the economy recover."


The DPJ apparently made a political judgment in which the main opposition believes it will be better served by cooperating with the ruling parties in passing the supplementary budget in the hope of setting the stage for an early dissolution of the lower house. The DPJ's change of tune apparently was aimed at forestalling public criticism that would have erupted had the party opposed the measures intended to boost the economy.



Antiterrorism bill on agenda

The DPJ also will likely agree to vote on a bill to revise the new Antiterrorism Law for extending the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.


The bill is expected to pass the lower house, which is controlled by the ruling parties, and then be rejected in the opposition-controlled House of Councillors. DPJ officials reportedly said the party will not try to drag out deliberations on the bill if the ruling parties put it to a second vote that can be enacted with their two-thirds majority. This also is part of the DPJ's strategy aimed at bringing about an early dissolution of the lower house.


Continuing the MSDF's refueling mission is the absolute minimum responsibility Japan must fulfill to show the international community that the nation will not shirk from the fight against terrorism. The DPJ's decision not to thwart the enactment of the bill serves the national interest.


However, the public struggles to understand why the DPJ is putting priority on early lower house dissolution and subsequent general election. Some cynics might describe it as self-serving.


The lower house's Special Committee on Antiterrorism is scheduled to discuss the bill and the DPJ's alternative bill. The ruling and opposition parties should faithfully discuss the nation's commitment in the fight against terrorism before the public.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 9, 2008)

20081090155  読売新聞)


« 東証2日連続で1万円割れ | トップページ | 米輸入義務量の削減 »





« 東証2日連続で1万円割れ | トップページ | 米輸入義務量の削減 »