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2013年7月 5日 (金)

9党首討論会 アベノミクスに対案はあるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 5, 2013
Can opposition present any clear alternatives to Abenomics?
9党首討論会 アベノミクスに対案はあるか(7月4日付・読売社説)

Political parties’ differing views were recently brought to light in an open debate among the ruling and opposition parties over Abenomics, the set of economic policies adopted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration. Abenomics has become the main point of contention in the upcoming House of Councillors election.
 参院選で最大の争点となる安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」に対する与野党の見解の相違が浮き彫りになった。

During the debate among leaders of nine political parties, held prior to the official start of the election campaign period at the Japan National Press Club on Wednesday, Abe stressed the positive effects of his economic policies. As the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, he said, “Our policies have boosted the nation’s economic fundamentals while improving the employment situation.”
 公示の前日に開催された日本記者クラブ主催の9党首討論会で、安倍首相は「我々の政策で実体経済が良くなり、雇用にもいい影響が出てきた」と、この半年間の実績を強調した。

Natsuo Yamaguchi, president of New Komeito, the LDP’s ruling coalition partner, said that by securing a majority in the upper house, “We would strive to end the divided Diet and gain enough power to carry out our growth strategy.”
 公明党の山口代表も、与党で過半数を確保し、「国会のねじれを解消して成長戦略を実行できる力を得るのが目標だ」と訴えた。

It is true that the excessive appreciation of the yen has been corrected to a certain extent and stock prices have risen. The “three arrows” of Abenomics--bold monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and a growth strategy--have so far proved largely on target.
 確かに、行き過ぎた円高は是正され、株価も上昇した。「3本の矢」は、おおむね妥当である。

Need to win over the public

Still, the real measure of the growth strategy, the third arrow, has only just begun to be tested. Undoubtedly the high approval ratings the Abe administration has recorded until now have been achieved due to the public’s high expectations for the Abe government.
 ただし、3本目の成長戦略の真価が問われるのはこれからだ。安倍内閣の高い支持率は、期待感に支えられている面が否めない。

In addition to promising the people his administration will steadily implement Abenomics, the prime minister must continue making efforts to win the public’s understanding of his economic policies.
 首相は、アベノミクスの着実な実行を国民に約束し、理解を得る努力を続ける必要がある。

Toru Hashimoto, coleader of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), and Your Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe indicated their support of the path charted by Abenomics, while calling on the administration to implement thorough deregulatory initiatives.
 日本維新の会の橋下共同代表とみんなの党の渡辺代表は、アベノミクスの方向性には賛意を示し、規制緩和などの徹底を求めた。

Both Hashimoto and Watanabe oppose the envisaged rise in the consumption tax rate next spring. They believe if a price increase induced by monetary easing occurs in conjunction with the tax hike, economic recovery will be hindered.
 両氏は、来春の消費税率引き上げについては否定的な考えだ。金融緩和による物価上昇と増税が重なり、景気回復の支障になるといった問題意識からである。

Speaking about the consumption tax increase, Abe said, “If the tax hike negatively affects the overall economy, leading to a decline in cumulative tax revenues, it will become meaningless.” His comments indicated the administration will prudently assess the economic situation before implementing the hike.
 首相は、消費増税について「経済に影響が出て、税収全体が減っては元も子もなくなってしまう」と述べ、経済状況を慎重に見極める意向を示している。

Meanwhile, the leaders of the five other parties present at the meeting reiterated their strong skepticism regarding the outcome of Abenomics. Banri Kaieda, president of the Democratic Party of Japan, harshly criticized the policies, saying Abenomics “may destroy people’s lives.”
 これ以外の5党は、アベノミクスに強い疑念を表明した。民主党の海江田代表は、「生活破壊の恐れがある」と酷評したほどだ。

DPJ’s proposal unconvincing

How, then, would the opposition DPJ help spur economic growth? When Abe raised this question, the DPJ leader said, “Driving an increase in workers’ take-home pay would lead to a boost in personal consumption, which would eventually bring about sustainable economic growth.” He also referred to child-rearing allowances and tuition-free education at public high schools, both programs the DPJ advocated when in power.
 では、民主党ならばどう経済を成長させるのか。首相の質問に、海江田氏は「手取りを増やすことで消費をしてもらい、持続的な経済成長を目指す」と主張した。民主党政権の子ども手当や高校授業料無償化にも言及した。

Nevertheless, Kaieda’s assertions lack solid backing and are less convincing than the LDP’s. They can hardly be considered counterproposals to Abenomics. Is the DPJ leader still adhering to the party’s handout policies?
 だが、これでは具体性を欠き、説得力にも乏しい。とても対案とは言えまい。まだバラマキ政策にこだわっているのだろうか。

The policy differences between the LDP and Komeito are no small matter either.
 自民、公明両党の政策の違いも小さくはない。

While Abe supports reviewing the government’s interpretation of the Constitution on the right to collective self-defense, Yamaguchi has said his party upholds the current interpretation. Yamaguchi has further made it clear that changing the government’s interpretation would require a convincing call for action, and such a call would need to be backed by a consensus between the two parties.
 集団的自衛権に関する政府の憲法解釈見直しに、首相が積極的な姿勢をとるのに対し、山口氏は政府見解を尊重していると述べた。解釈変更には説得力と合意形成が重要だと、クギを刺した。

The LDP and Komeito also differ in their views on constitutional amendments and policies concerning nuclear power plants. Both parties need to have thorough discussions with each other within the administration over key policy issues and coordinate their stances. It is worrisome that they have still not made sufficient efforts to this end in preparation for the upper house election.
 自公両党間では、憲法改正や原子力発電所についての考え方も異なっている。重要政策は政権内で議論を重ね、すりあわせねばならない。参院選では、それが十分でないことが気がかりである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun,  July 4, 2013)
(2013年7月4日01時36分  読売新聞)

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