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2012年9月 8日 (土)

TPP交渉 参加表明の見送りを憂慮する

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 8, 2012)
Japan must swiftly overcome its internal deadlock on TPP
TPP交渉 参加表明の見送りを憂慮する(9月7日付・読売社説)

How much longer does the government intend to put off participating in negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade accord? It should hasten a political decision on the matter.
 政府は環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉参加をいつまで先送りするつもりなのか。政治決断を急ぐべきだ。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will likely put off expressing Japan's intention to take part in the TPP talks during the meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum scheduled to start Saturday in Vladivostok.
 野田首相は、ロシア・ウラジオストクで8日開幕するアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)首脳会議でのTPP参加表明を見送る方針である。

At the APEC meeting last November in Hawaii, Noda announced Japan's policy of starting discussions with countries involved toward Japan's participation in the TPP talks. Since then, Japan has held negotiations with the nine other countries, including the United States.
 首相は昨年11月、ハワイでのAPEC首脳会議に合わせて、「TPPの交渉参加に向けて関係国との協議に入る」と述べ、米国など9か国と協議してきた。

Initially, Noda wanted to express Japan's intention to participate in the talks at the upcoming meeting in Russia. However, as some within the Democratic Party of Japan and agricultural organizations oppose Japan participating in the TPP talks, there has been little progress in reaching a consensus within the government and the ruling DPJ.
 当初は、ロシアでの表明を目指したが、民主党内の一部や農業団体などが反発し、政府や党内の意見集約が進んでいない。

Wary that his power base might be shaken if he announced Japan's participation in the TPP talks, Noda has apparently had second thoughts about doing so.
 TPPへの参加表明によって、自らの政権基盤が揺らぎかねないと警戒した首相は、二の足を踏んだのだろう。

===

Window of opportunity closing

Considering the required period for giving notice to the U.S. Congress, it is reckoned that Japan must express its intention to participate in the talks no later than this month if it is to start negotiating with the nine other countries this year. Thus, there is no longer any hope that Japan can take part in the talks in 2012. This is a worrisome development.
 米議会への通告期間を考慮すると、日本が年内に交渉のテーブルに着くには、9月が表明の期限とされる。年内参加は絶望的になった。憂慮すべき事態だ。

Meanwhile, it has become certain that Canada and Mexico will join the negotiations, bringing the participating countries to 11 and leaving slow-going Japan further behind.
 もたつく日本を追い越し、カナダとメキシコのTPP参加が決まっている。

U.S. President Barack Obama hopes to see the TPP negotiations concluded by the end of the year. Although that appears unlikely, the 11 participating countries are expected to hold talks in September and December, bringing the negotiations into full swing over the next year.
オバマ米大統領が目指す年内の交渉妥結は難しい情勢だが、参加11か国は、今月に続き12月に会合を開き、来年にかけて交渉を本格化させる見通しだ。

As things stand now, final-stage negotiations over such issues as eliminating or lowering tariffs and working out rules on trade and investment will accelerate without Japan. Should Japan take part in the talks only after the negotiations are settled, it will be unable to complain if it is subjected to unfavorable rules.
 このままでは、関税撤廃・引き下げや貿易・投資ルール作りなどを巡り、日本抜きで大詰めの交渉が加速する。交渉決着後の参加なら、日本に不利なルールを押しつけられても文句は言えない。

With domestic demand expected to contract due to a declining population, Japan needs to tap the vitality of other Asian countries through an expansion of free trade.
 人口減で国内需要が縮小する日本は、自由貿易の拡大によって、アジアの活力を取り込む必要がある。

To use the TPP as a lever in this effort, it is essential for Japan to get involved in the TPP talks from the stage of formulating rules under the trade accord.
TPPをその起爆剤とするには、ルール作りの段階から関与していくことが肝要だ。

===

Hollowing-out may worsen

It is only reasonable for the business sector to criticize the government on that score. If the current situation continues, with businesses unable to enjoy the merits of economic partnership with other countries, companies will shift more of their production bases abroad, thus accelerating the hollowing-out of industry at home.
 経済界が政府を批判するのは当然である。経済連携のメリットを享受できない状況が続けば、企業は海外に生産拠点を移転し、国内の空洞化が加速するだろう。

Prospects for the negotiations on a bilateral economic partnership agreement with South Korea and an envisaged Japan-South Korea-China free trade agreement, both of which Japan is aiming to achieve together with the TPP, appear uncertain at best, due chiefly to the latest confrontations over the Senkaku Islands and the Takeshima islands.
 日本がTPPと併せて目指している韓国との経済連携協定(EPA)や日中韓の自由貿易協定(FTA)交渉も、尖閣諸島と竹島問題の影響で先行きは不透明だ。

Meanwhile, we cannot expect any early realization of larger-scale free trade accords such as an envisioned extensive FTA involving 16 countries--the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, Australia, China, India, New Zealand and South Korea.
 東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)に日中韓、インドなどを加えた16か国による広域アジアのFTA構想も、大がかりな貿易自由化の早期実現は望めまい。

Japan must make the TPP free trade accord its top priority. Japan should shift into a proactive mode of quickly joining the talks and, while not giving in to China and South Korea on other issues, it must forge ahead in the bilateral talks with South Korea and in the three-way trade talks.
 日本が今、最優先すべきは、やはりTPPである。速やかに交渉に加わる積極姿勢に転じて、中韓両国を牽制(けんせい)しながら、日韓や日中韓の交渉も前進させていく。

This is the strategy Japan must stubbornly pursue.
そのようなしたたかな戦略が要る。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 7, 2012)
(2012年9月7日01時50分  読売新聞)

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