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2012年12月 3日 (月)

経済成長戦略 「高い目標」の実現策で論戦を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 3, 2012)
Political parties should explain their high-growth strategies
経済成長戦略 「高い目標」の実現策で論戦を(12月2日付・読売社説)

The mid- and long-term economic growth strategies drafted by parties in their campaigns for the upcoming House of Representatives election are of particular interest to voters.
 中長期の経済成長戦略をどう描くかは、衆院選で有権者の関心が特に高いテーマだろう。

Japan's nominal growth rate has been faltering at an average of nearly zero percent for the past 20 years. Many parties, including the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party, set high economic growth targets such as 3 percent or more in their election pledges. However, it is noteworthy that the contents of their policy measures, which should be crucially important, are often not new and made only to try to please everyone.
 日本の名目成長率は、過去20年の平均でほぼゼロに低迷している。民主、自民両党など多くの政党が公約で、これを3%以上とする高い目標を掲げているが、肝心の施策は新味のない総花的な内容が目立つ。

Voters should consider which party is likely to focus on viable policy measures and carry them out expeditiously. It is also important to determine which party is expected to stimulate the vitality of the private sector through deregulation while establishing political leadership capable of eliminating sectionalism among government offices.
 実効性の高い政策に絞り込み、スピード感を持って実行できるかどうかが問われる。規制撤廃で民間活力を高めるとともに、府省縦割りを打破する強力な司令塔の確立もカギとなろう。

We expect political parties to actively discuss measures aimed at realizing their growth strategies so they do not end up as empty slogans.
 高い目標を「絵に描いたモチ」に終わらせないため、各党は成長戦略を実現させる具体策について活発に論議してもらいたい。

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Reflect on policy missteps

Serious reflection on mistakes made in past economic policies must be the first step in rethinking growth strategies. Though the DPJ-led government trumpeted the slogan "from concrete to people," its dole-out policies such as child-rearing allowances were ineffective.
 成長戦略の練り直しは、これまでの「経済失政」の反省から始めねばならない。民主党政権は「コンクリートから人へ」のスローガンを掲げたが、子ども手当などバラマキ策は効果が薄かった。

Domestic demand could be boosted by public works projects that contribute to improved safety and economic development, such as refurbishment of aged transportation systems and construction of facilities to minimize damage from large earthquakes.
 老朽化した交通網の改修や、巨大地震に備えた防災など、安全と経済発展に資する公共事業は、内需振興につながる。

Each party should present clear guidelines on infrastructure development.
各党はインフラ(社会基盤)整備に関する明確な方針を示すべきだ。

To promote consumption, rebuilding the nation's social security system to alleviate public anxieties over the future is the key to make people spend excessive savings on something tangible. To make this possible, the consumption tax hike is essential to secure a stable revenue source for the social security system.
 消費を促進するには、社会保障を立て直して将来不安を和らげ、過剰な貯蓄が消費に回るようにすることが大事だ。安定財源となる消費税の増税は欠かせない。

However, it is impossible to avoid the contraction of domestic demand as the nation ages and population shrinks. It is therefore essential to enhance the strategy to increase foreign demand. Japan must promote free trade rapidly to take advantage of the economic growth of other Asian countries.
 それでも高齢化と人口減少で国内需要の縮小は避けられず、外需獲得戦略の強化が必須となる。アジアの成長を取り込むため、自由貿易の推進が急がれる。

Whether Japan should participate in Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations is an issue of utmost importance. But the DPJ and the LDP have not stated clearly that the nation should join the TPP talks out of consideration for agricultural organizations, which oppose such negotiations. We consider this a problem.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加は最優先の課題と言える。民主、自民両党が、農業団体の反発に配慮してTPP参加を明確に主張しないのは問題だ。

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Infrastructure exports

Meanwhile, the international competitiveness of electrical home appliances and other Japanese products has been declining to a worrisome level. We hope the private and government sectors work together to overcome this problem.
 一方、家電などの国際競争力低下が深刻化している。官民が連携して逆風をはね返したい。

Whether a company can win a bid to export infrastructure such as nuclear power plants and the Shinkansen bullet train system is determined on the overall strength of a company from construction to operation and safety management. This gives Japanese companies an edge as they generally excel in work that requires extreme precision.
 原子力発電所や新幹線などインフラの輸出は、建設から運営、安全管理まで総合力で優勝劣敗が決まる。綿密さが長所の日本企業が得意とするところだ。

Hitachi, Ltd. has launched its own nuclear business by purchasing a nuclear operator in Britain, while Toshiba Corp. is expanding nuclear power plant businesses abroad. It is encouraging to see private companies making challenging inroads on the international scene.
 日立製作所が英国の原発事業者を買収して原発建設に乗り出し、東芝も海外での原発事業拡大を進めている。民間企業による果敢な国際戦略は心強い。

However, the DPJ and many other parties are casting a damper on corporate efforts to export Japanese nuclear power plants by pledging to abolish nuclear power generation in this country. They should realize that denuclearization is having a negative effect on Japan's growth strategy.
 ところが、民主党など多くの政党が「脱原発」を掲げ、原発輸出の企業努力に水を差している。成長戦略を妨げている事実を、各党は自覚すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 2, 2012)
(2012年12月2日01時04分  読売新聞)

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