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2013年1月24日 (木)

物価目標2% 政府と日銀が挑む「高い壁」

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 24, 2013)
Govt, BOJ must work in unity to achieve inflation target
物価目標2% 政府と日銀が挑む「高い壁」(1月23日付・読売社説)

To lift the nation out of deflation, the government and the Bank of Japan have compiled a joint statement that incorporates a 2 percent inflation target. However, whether they can work closely together to clear the high hurdles needed to achieve the target has been called into question.
 デフレ脱却に向け、政府と日銀が2%の物価目標を盛り込んだ共同声明をまとめた。達成のハードルは高く、連携強化の実効性が問われよう。

After the joint statement was approved at the central bank's Policy Board meeting Tuesday, Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso and Akira Amari, state minister for economic and fiscal policy, reported to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
 日銀の金融政策決定会合で共同声明を決めた後、白川総裁、麻生副総理・財務相、甘利経済財政相が安倍首相に報告した。

Among other things, the statement stipulates the bank will promote further monetary easing steps by setting a target of a 2 percent year-on-year rise in the consumer price index and aim to achieve that target "at the earliest possible time."
 声明は、日銀が消費者物価の前年比上昇率2%の目標を設けて金融緩和を推進するとし、「できるだけ早期の実現を目指す」と明記したのがポイントだ。

The central bank had previously said the desirable inflation rate in the mid- and long term was "1 percent for the time being." However, it accepted Abe's strong request to set the 2 percent inflation target. It was the first time the bank has set a specific inflation target--a historic turn of events.
 日銀は従来、中長期的に望ましい物価上昇率を「当面1%が目途(めど)」としてきたが、首相の強い要請を受け入れた。日銀が具体的な物価目標を設定するのは初めてで、歴史的な転換である。

In praising the Bank of Japan's decision, the prime minister said, "It's a bold review of monetary policy." He also expressed his resolve to accelerate the revival of the nation's economy--his administration's top priority--by using the joint statement as leverage.
 首相は「金融政策の大胆な見直しだ」と評価した。声明をテコに、政権が最重視する経済再生を加速したい決意の表れだ。

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Purchasing financial assets

In line with the statement, the central bank decided to take such new monetary easing measures as the purchase of a large amount of financial assets, including government bonds, from 2014 without setting a specific termination date.
 日銀は声明に併せ、2014年から、期限を定めず、国債などの金融資産を大量に買い入れる新たな金融緩和策を決めた。

For the bank, the open-ended monetary easing plan is virgin territory. The decision to take such a step will probably send a message to the market that the bank will more actively implement monetary easing measures.
 日銀にとって「無期限緩和」は未踏の領域だ。より積極的に金融緩和を行うという、市場へのメッセージになるだろう。

In Japan, however, the increase in the consumer price index has been slightly above the zero percent level or in negative territory since the latter half of the 1990s. How this rate can be raised to 2 percent has not been worked out.
 ただ、日本では1990年代後半から、消費者物価上昇率はほぼ0%台かマイナスだ。2%まで上昇させる道筋は描けていない。

Even if prices rise as planned, there is concern people's livelihoods will be threatened if it is "bad inflation" that does not entail expanded employment or pay increases.
 物価がうまく上昇しても、実体経済が浮揚せず、雇用拡大や賃金上昇が伴わない「悪い物価上昇」では、国民生活がかえって脅かされる事態すら懸念される。

It was also decided Tuesday that the Bank of Japan will regularly report on the progress toward reaching the 2 percent inflation target to the government's Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, which will examine the effects of the bank's monetary easing measures. The central bank needs to explain how it plans to end deflation while carefully watching for possible side effects on people's lives.
 日銀が政府の経済財政諮問会議に定期報告し、緩和策の効果が点検されることも決まった。国民生活などへの副作用にも目配りし、どうデフレから脱却するか。日銀に説明責任が求められる。

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Bank's independence essential

At the same time, it is important to maintain the bank's independence. The government must refrain from excessive political intervention into the bank's methods of carrying out monetary policy.
 同時に重要なのは、日銀の独立性を堅持することだ。金融政策の手法などに対し、政府は過度な政治介入を慎む必要がある。

The government, for its part, must draw on all of its policies to overcome deflation. Even if a large amount of funds is supplied through monetary easing measures, the money cannot be used effectively and consumption will not increase if demand for the funds to create new investments is insufficient.
 デフレ脱却には、政府も政策を総動員しなければならない。
 金融緩和で資金を大量供給しても、新たな投資を生み出す資金需要が乏しければ、有効に活用されず、消費も伸びないからだ。

It is reasonable that the joint statement calls on the government to carry out structural reforms such as "bold regulatory and structural reforms" and "utilization of the tax system," and "to strengthen competitiveness and growth potential." We urge the government to accelerate efforts to implement a growth strategy.
 声明が政府に「大胆な規制・制度改革」「税制の活用」などの構造改革や、「競争力と成長力の強化」を促したのは妥当だ。政府は成長戦略を急いでもらいたい。

International trust in Japan will be shaken if the Bank of Japan's purchase of a large amount of government bonds is viewed as an attempt to cover a budget deficit. As the statement pointed out, the government also should strengthen measures to restore fiscal health.
 日銀による国債の大量買い入れが「財政赤字の穴埋め」と捉えられると、日本の信認が揺らぐ。声明が指摘したように、政府は財政健全化策も強化すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 23, 2013)
(2013年1月23日02時00分  読売新聞)

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