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2013年10月17日 (木)

所信表明演説 「意志の力」を具体化する時だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun October 17, 2013
Abe must pull out all the stops to implement growth strategy
所信表明演説 「意志の力」を具体化する時だ(10月16日付・読売社説)

We understand Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has the determination to bring about Japan’s economic recovery, but it is the results that count. How will he put his growth strategy into shape? His administration’s ability to get things done is now being put to the test.

Abe delivered a policy speech at both chambers of the Diet on Tuesday. He reaffirmed the government will place top priority on lifting the nation’s economy out of deflation, saying, “We have no choice but to unwaveringly take this path.” He also stressed the importance of “willpower” to overcome tough challenges.

Referring to the extraordinary Diet session as one that will implement his growth strategy, Abe said he wants to achieve “a virtuous economic cycle” by drawing on all of his policies.

We cannot fault Abe over his awareness of the problems facing Japan and the direction he will pursue. Over the past few years, prime ministers touted various growth strategies, but they were forced to resign about one year after taking office without producing results.

Abe has established a foothold to a long-running government after an overwhelming victory in the July House of Councillors election that put an end to the divided Diet, and is now ready to work on his growth strategy in earnest. He also has emphasized during his many trips abroad that the Japanese economy is being reinvigorated.

What is required now is for him to produce results.

To ensure determination leads to actual achievement, it is important to have specific policies supporting this. The government aims to pass during the current extraordinary Diet session a bill to strengthen industrial competitiveness and a bill to create national strategic special zones.

Private-sector role crucial

The private sector plays a major role in revitalizing the nation’s economy. No matter what kind of economic policies the government implements, their effectiveness will be limited if companies and households do not act autonomously.

The government should accurately comprehend what the private sector needs by deepening dialogues among the government, labor and management to reflect these requirements in its policies and make best use of the private sector’s vitality.

Abe’s policy speech lacked specifics in these aspects of the growth strategy and therefore was not entirely satisfactory. Since he urges companies to increase their capital investment, research and development expenditure, and wages, he must present more convincing policies and messages during Diet debates from now on.

In the field of diplomacy and security, Abe, who is pursuing “proactive pacifism,” said he would expedite the creation of a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council.

Contributing to world peace and strengthening cooperation with the United States and other countries will help Japan ensure peace and stability. It will also increase its voice internationally and have a favorable impact on revitalizing the economy.

If progress is made in rejuvenating the economy and reconstructing state finances, it will be possible for the nation to strengthen its diplomacy, such as by increasing official development assistance.

The government should try to achieve such a “virtuous cycle” of the economy and diplomacy.

It must steadily push ahead with the early enactment of a bill to establish a Japanese version of the U.S. NSC, the formulation of the country’s first national security strategy and new National Defense Program Guidelines, as well as a review of the government’s interpretation of the Constitution with regard to the right to collective self-defense.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 16, 2013)
(2013年10月16日01時32分  読売新聞)


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