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2013年6月21日 (金)

G8首脳宣言 日本経済が久々に示す存在感

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 21, 2013
Japan, Abenomics grabbed spotlight at G-8 summit meeting
G8首脳宣言 日本経済が久々に示す存在感(6月20日付・読売社説)

For the first time in many years, a Japanese prime minister has grabbed the spotlight in the international arena. Now all eyes are on whether Shinzo Abe can steadily implement his policies to rejuvenate Japan’s economy, a pledge the prime minister presented to world leaders at the recent Group of Eight summit meeting.

The summit meeting, held at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, concluded Tuesday after the adoption of a joint statement. Leaders of Japan, the United States, Germany, and other G-8 nations took part in the meeting.

“Global economic prospects remain weak,” the statement said, stressing the necessity for countries “to press ahead with the necessary reforms to restore sustainable growth and jobs.”

The eurozone economy is still trapped in negative growth, and the growth of China and other emerging nations, which have been serving as the locomotive of the world economy, has lost steam. It was absolutely necessary for the G-8 nations to reconfirm their unity at the summit.

Expectations for Abenomics

One of the agenda items discussed at the meeting was Abenomics, the economic policy of the Abe administration. During the meeting, Abe told world leaders that “Japan’s economic development will give a boost to the economic progress of the world.”

It is noteworthy that the statement referred to the so-called “three arrows” of Abenomics--bold monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and growth strategy. The statement gave a positive assessment to Abenomics, saying that the three arrows would underpin the nation’s growth.

Japan must work hard to meet this global expectation and speed up its efforts to conquer deflation and rejuvenate its economy.

However, the statement did not forget to make requests of Japan, whose fiscal condition is the worst among advanced nations. Japan needs to “address the challenge of defining a credible medium-term fiscal plan,” the statement said.

The Abe administration plans to draw up a medium-term fiscal plan this summer. It is crucial for the government to show in the fiscal plan a concrete path toward simultaneously achieving the goals of economic growth and fiscal rehabilitation. After announcing the plan, the government must make wholehearted efforts to realize it.

The statement said open trade is a key engine of global economic growth. It listed ongoing free trade talks, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership framework talks in which Japan is involved, and added that the G-8 nations “aim to finalize all these deals as soon as possible.” In this regard, we urge the Abe administration to speed up its preparations for agricultural liberalization.

Regarding the problem of tax avoidance, or global companies trying to reduce their tax payments by exploiting low tax rates of certain countries, the G-8 leaders agreed to speed up their efforts to create an international legal framework to prevent such moves. This is an important step forward--we urge Japan to play a leading role in establishing a framework that enables countries to fairly collect taxes from companies.

Pile pressure on N. Korea

The G-8 leaders also agreed to take concerted action on measures against terrorism in North Africa, in light of January’s hostage crisis at an Algerian natural gas complex. This is also a laudable development.

The joint statement demanded North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and refrain from taking provocative actions. It also urged Pyongyang to address the concerns of the international community over its human rights violations, including the abduction issue.

We believe it suggests that Abe’s message on North Korean problems was appreciated by the G-8 leaders. Abe has been keen to express Japan’s stance on the issue.

The G-8 leaders should also seek to join hands with China to urge North Korea to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions as well as obligations stipulated in a joint statement issued in six-party talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

(From the Yomiuri Shimbun, June 20, 2013)
(2013年6月20日01時28分  読売新聞)


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