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2009年11月17日 (火)

社説:2期連続の成長 安心と希望生む政策を

(Mainichi Japan) November 17, 2009
Gov't urged to implement economic policies to boost consumer confidence
社説:2期連続の成長 安心と希望生む政策を

Japan's real-term gross domestic product (GDP) in the July-September period grew at an annualized rate of 4.8 percent from the April-June period, according to preliminary figures released by the Cabinet Office. This represents positive growth for the second consecutive quarter.
 内閣府が16日発表した今年7~9月期の国内総生産(GDP)の速報値は、実質成長率が年率換算の前期比で4.8%と2期連続のプラス成長になった。

The economic crisis triggered by the collapse of U.S. financial giant Lehman Brothers, which was called an economic crisis that "occurs only once every 100 years," appears to be nearing an end after an unexpectedly short period of time without dealing a fatal blow to Japan's economy. The government should be applauded for preventing the economy from freefalling by implementing various policy measures, including those worked out by the previous administration.
「100年に1度の経済混乱」といわれた昨秋のリーマン・ショックが、予想外に短期で大きな痛手をもたらさずに収束しつつあるといえる。前政権時代からの政策の総動員で、経済を底割れさせなかったことをひとまず評価したい。

The growth rate in the July-September quarter was also higher than the average forecast made by economists of around 2.5 percent.
 今回発表の成長率は、エコノミストが予想した平均値の2%台半ばよりも高かった。

Among external demand, exports remain brisk. For domestic demand, consumer spending and corporate investment in plants and equipment turned out to be better than expected thanks to the government's eco-point system that encouraged consumers to buy environment-friendly cars and electric appliances.
外需の輸出が引き続き好調で、内需の個人消費と設備投資が、自動車や家電製品の買い替えを促すエコポイント制度などの効果で予想外によかったためだ。

However, the effects of economic stimulus measures started to decline. Share prices are not as bullish as their peak, while the unemployment rate remains high. Moreover, the average winter bonus to be paid by major companies to their employees is estimated to decline at a record high rate from the previous year. Everybody apparently has a sense of uncertainty about the economic outlook and is worried about their future livelihoods.
 しかし、景気刺激策の効果はピークを過ぎた。株価も最近は一時の勢いがない。失業率は高止まりだし、大企業の冬のボーナスは前年実績比で過去最大の落ち込みになる見通しだ。だれもが「先行きは不透明」と感じ、「ここから先が心配だ」と思っている。

Economic growth will likely slow down in the foreseeable future and the quarterly economy period may post negative growth.
 今後は成長が鈍り、四半期単位でのマイナス成長も覚悟しなければならないかもしれない。

However, it is impossible to keep implementing new economic stimulus measures one after another from a short-term perspective.
だからといって、目先の景気刺激策を繰り返すのはきりがない。

In working out a second supplementary budget for fiscal 2009, the government is urged to invest precious taxpayers' money in employment security measures and those aimed at supporting people's livelihoods as well as other measures.
Households would benefit from such steps taken from a mid- and long-term perspective.
これから政府が検討する2次補正予算案では、中長期の観点で家計に元気を与える失業対策や生活支援策を柱とした政策に知恵と限られた財源を投入することが大事だ。

The public is trying to gauge how serious the new administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is about making good use of taxpayers' money for their livelihoods in working out the fiscal 2010 budget draft and redistributing people's wealth through tax system reform.
 予算案作りを通じ、税金を国民の暮らしにきちんと生かそうとしているか。税制改革で、所得の再配分や税の公平にどれだけ気を配っているか。国民は新政権の本気度を測ろうとしている。

The compilation of the fiscal 2010 state budget draft, which will get under way toward the end of this year, and discussions on tax system reform for next fiscal year will also be vital.
 年末にかけて本格化する来年度予算案の編成や来年度の税制改革論議も、思いのほか重要だ。

The Japanese economy needs not only technological innovation and an increase in productivity but also hope and a sense of reassurance for the future of people's livelihoods. Such hope and a sense of reassurance would result in consumer spending, which would in turn reactivate the economy.
日本の経済に必要なのは、技術革新や生産性の向上ばかりでなく、国民の間に将来への希望や安心感が広がっていくことである。それが家計支出となって経済の歯車を動かす。

Stock traders who are reacting nervously to the fluctuation of share prices on a day-by-day basis are also paying close attention to the government's seriousness in implementing such policy measures.
日々一喜一憂する株式などの市場関係者も、意外にそうした基本姿勢を注目している。

Such efforts would be of great significance as economic stimulus measures if they gain confidence and sympathy from the public.
政策と政策運営に対して国民の信頼感と共感が得られれば、経済対策として非常に大きな意味を持つ。

These measures could also be effective in preventing deflation, which is often caused by people worrying more.
今、心配されるデフレも不安心理の増幅によって生み出されるものだから、デフレ対策にも有効である。

In that sense, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Masayuki Naoshima badly damaged the public's confidence by revealing the GDP growth rate in the July-September period before it was officially announced.
 その意味で、直嶋正行経済産業相が発表前の成長率を業界との会合で漏らしたのは、信頼を大きく損なってしまった。

He said, "I didn't know when the embargo would be lifted." However, it is not just a simple mistake but raises questions about whether he is qualified to serve as an economic minister. He should deeply reflect on his actions, and the government as a whole should take the issue seriously.
「解禁時間を知らなかった」とは経済閣僚としてお粗末である。ミスで片づけられず、資質を問われても仕方ない。経産相は猛省しなければいけないし、政府としても軽く扱うべきことではない。

毎日新聞 2009年11月17日 2時31分

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