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2009年9月22日 (火)

鳩山経済政策 安定成長への道筋を示せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Sep. 22, 2009)
DPJ must point way to economic growth
鳩山経済政策 安定成長への道筋を示せ(9月22日付・読売社説)

How does the new Cabinet led by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama intend to get the nation's economy on a recovery path leading to stable growth? The Hatoyama administration has yet to come up with a discernible strategy for economic growth.
 景気を着実に回復させて、安定した経済成長にどうつなげるか。鳩山内閣の経済成長戦略がいまひとつ見えてこない。

When asked at his inaugural press conference what was the top-priority task for his Cabinet, Hatoyama mentioned measures to support household budgets, including child-rearing allowances. But he did not outline any strategies for mid- and long-term economic growth. The nation's economy, whose future shape remains unclear, is a matter of concern for the public. We hope the government will draw up a "road map" to put the economy on a stable growth track.
 鳩山首相は就任記者会見で最優先課題を問われ、子ども手当など当面の家計支援策を挙げた。しかし、中長期の経済成長をにらんだ戦略は語らなかった。
 日本経済の将来像がおぼろげでは、不安が残る。成長軌道に乗せる道筋を明確に示してほしい。

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Jobs need to be protected
 ◆雇用確保を最優先に◆

The nation's economy has just pulled out of a nosedive. But if the government fails to maintain control of the economy, we fear there could be another economic downturn.
 日本経済は、急降下からやっと水平飛行に戻ったが、操縦を誤れば再び失速の恐れがある。

The Hatoyama Cabinet is tasked with implementing necessary policies at a time when the nation has arrived at a critical political moment. First of all, the government should try to improve the employment situation, given that the jobless rate rose to an all-time high of 5.7 percent in July. The number of jobless people grew by about 1 million from a year earlier, of whom two out of three lost jobs after being let go by their companies, including through restructuring programs.
 鳩山内閣は、大事な場面で政策のかじ取りを担う。まず、失業率が5・7%と、過去最悪になっている雇用の改善を図るべきだ。
 失業者は1年前より100万人増え、うち3人に2人はリストラなど会社の都合で職を失った。

Among the employment policies the ruling Democratic Party of Japan touted as election campaign pledges, the government must quickly implement measures to alleviate the pain of unemployment, including establishing a system to support job-seekers by providing them with allowances while they undergo job training. As the number of job offers for new graduates also is decreasing, we hope the government will consider measurers to prevent a recurrence of the "ice age" for employment that occurred in the 1990s.
 公約した雇用政策のうち、職業訓練中に手当を支給する求職者支援制度の創設など、失業の痛みを和らげる施策の具体化を急がねばならない。新卒の求人も激減している。就職氷河期の再来を防ぐ手立ても考えてもらいたい。

The DPJ's employment policies have some worrisome features. Under the current circumstances, in which even regular employees are being fired under companies' restructuring programs, if the government imposes a basic ban on the dispatch of temporary workers to the manufacturing industry, wouldn't the number of jobless people increase further?
 民主党の雇用政策には気がかりな項目もある。正社員にもリストラが広がる中、製造業の派遣労働などを原則禁止すれば、失業者がさらに増えないか。

If the government quickly raises the minimum wage, midsize and small firms could be driven into a corner and accelerate personnel cutbacks. Although efforts to abolish societal disparities are important, very careful consideration must be given to whether now is the right time and situation to implement measures for that purpose.
 最低賃金も性急に引き上げれば中小企業が追い詰められ、人員整理が加速しかねない。格差是正は大切だが、実行できる環境かどうか、見極めが肝要だ。

Six million workers in the nation are surplus to requirements, according to a government estimate. Every possible step for economic recovery should be taken so "in-house unemployment" does not become real unemployment.
 企業が抱える過剰雇用が600万人にのぼるとする政府の推計もある。「企業内失業」が実際の失業とならないよう、景気回復に万全を期さねばならない。

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Austerity moves premature
 ◆危うい補正予算見直し◆

The nation's gross domestic product posted positive growth in the April-June period, marking the first expansion in five quarters.
 実質国内総生産(GDP)は4~6月期、5四半期ぶりにプラス成長を回復した。

But one of the main factors behind the GDP rise was increased consumer spending due to the effects of the government's pump-priming measures, such as tax breaks and subsidies for the purchase of eco-friendly vehicles and the introduction of the eco point system aimed at boosting sales of eco-friendly electrical appliances. The recovery of the nation's exports due to the strengthening of overseas economies also played a major role in the GDP expansion. The sustainability of the nation's economic recovery is weak, therefore.
 とはいえ、主な要因はエコカー減税や省エネ家電のエコポイントの効果などで増えた消費と、海外経済の持ち直しによる輸出の回復で、持続力は頼りない。

The lack of demand in the nation's economy is equivalent to about 40 trillion yen annually. Unless the government supports domestic demand with public works projects and other measures, it is feared that the effects of its economic policies could be limited in the next year, and the economy could lose momentum.
 日本経済の需要不足は、年換算で40兆円もある。公共事業などで内需を支えないと、来年にかけて政策効果が薄れ、景気が息切れする懸念がある。

But the Hatoyama Cabinet intends to freeze part of the supplementary budget compiled by the Cabinet led by former Prime Minister Taro Aso and use it to fund policies the DPJ pledged to carry out in its manifesto.
 ところが、鳩山内閣は、麻生内閣が編成した補正予算の一部を凍結する方針だ。公約した政策の財源に充てるためという。

As things stand, it is possible that projects funded by the supplementary budget will fizzle out in the latter half of this fiscal year. A belt-tightening policy that puts priority on securing financial resources is undesirable in that it could stall an economic recovery.
 今年度の後半に政策の空白が生じかねない。景気腰折れの引き金をひくような、財源優先の緊縮政策は好ましくない。

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Overhaul economy structure
 ◆内需産業をどう育てる◆

Along with measures to deal with the economic crisis, the government also should not forget to establish a foundation for economic growth.
 危機対応と並行し、成長の基盤作りも忘れてはならない。

First of all, the nation's economic structure, which is overreliant on foreign demand, needs to be reformed.
 まず、行き過ぎた外需頼みの経済構造を改める必要がある。

A plan formulated by the Hatoyama Cabinet to expand domestic demand, which includes the provision of child-rearing allowances, appears to be aimed at weaning the nation off external demand.
 鳩山内閣が、子ども手当などで内需拡大を図るというのも、外需依存を弱める狙いだろう。

But domestic demand as a whole will not expand merely by using part of the national budget to boost household budgets. If child-rearing allowances are provided while people continue to feel anxious about their daily lives, many of them will save the money, and the policy's effects will be weakened.
 だが、予算配分を家計に手厚くするだけで内需全体のパイは大きくなるまい。生活不安が強い中で手当を給付すれば、多くが貯蓄に回り、効果も低くなろう。

To alleviate worries about the future and increase people's disposable income, it is indispensable to improve the pension and other social security systems, and draw up a blueprint for securing financial resources for that purpose. The government should quickly begin to discuss whether the consumption tax, a stable financial resource, should be raised, thus boosting the effects of the provision of child-rearing allowances.
 将来の不安を和らげ、収入が消費に回る割合を増やすには、年金など社会保障の充実が肝要で、その財源確保にも道筋をつけねばならない。安定財源と期待される消費税の引き上げ論議を早く始めることは、子ども手当の効果も高めるのではないか。

Fostering potential new industries also is important. Areas in which Japan's technology is a world leader, including the environmental and energy-saving fields, could foster promising businesses. We hope the government will encourage technological innovation that leads to a carbon-free society.
 成長性のある新たな産業の育成も重要だ。環境・省エネなど日本が得意とする分野は有望だ。脱炭素社会をリードするため、技術革新を促してほしい。

The rapidly aging society has created an increase in demand in the medical and nursing care sectors. Support measures will be needed to make these sectors primary industries that will create employment and growth.
 高齢化時代に需要が高まる医療や介護分野は、雇用と成長をもたらす基幹産業に育てるためのテコ入れが求められよう。

But even if the government successfully proceeds with a shift from foreign to domestic demand, it will take some time for the twin engines of domestic and external demand to work in a balanced manner.
 ただし、外需から内需への移行を進めても、内外需の「双発エンジン」がバランスよく回り出すには、かなり時間を要する。

As a nation with limited natural resources to grow its economy, Japan should make profits on the back of foreign demand and invest them. In this regard, a focus of attention is whether Japan will be able to respond to the demands of emerging markets, such as those in Asia, which are expected to grow rapidly.
 天然資源に乏しい日本が成長するには、外需で利益を稼ぎ、それを活用していかねばならない。
 このため急成長が期待できるアジアなど新興市場の需要を取り込めるかどうかが焦点となる。

While sales of low-price electrical appliances and other products made in China and South Korea are rising globally, highly functional, high-priced Japan-made products are not selling so well. To survive this cutthroat competition, Japanese makers should lower the costs of their products and boost their competitiveness.
 電気製品などは、中国や韓国などの低価格品が世界で販売を伸ばす一方、高機能だが価格も高い日本製品は苦戦気味だ。勝ち抜くにはコストを下げ、競争力を高めねばならない。

There are growing voices in economic circles for a reduction in corporate tax, which is high compared with that of other developed nations.
 このため経済界には、国際的に高い法人税率の引き下げなどを求める声が多い。

But the DPJ's manifesto contains election pledges that put burdens on companies, including reducing the country's greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. If companies are pushed to the wall, they could resort to restructuring programs and wage cutbacks, and households eventually would have to pay the price for the government's policies.
 しかし民主党の公約は、温室効果ガスの「25%削減」をはじめ、逆に企業に負担を強いるものが目立つ。企業を追い込めば、リストラや賃金カットで、やがて家計にもツケが回る恐れがある。

We also are anxious about assertions by Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii and other DPJ members that the yen should be allowed to appreciate. A rapid rise of the yen would deal a blow to export industries.
 藤井財務相ら民主党内の「円高容認論」も気がかりだ。急激な円高は輸出産業に打撃となる。

The DPJ's words and deeds are now interpreted by the public differently from when it was an opposition party. The ruling party should not roil the market with careless remarks.
 野党時代とは受け止められ方が違う。不用意な発言で市場を混乱させてはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 22, 2009)
(2009年9月22日01時13分  読売新聞)

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