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2014年6月27日 (金)

骨太の方針 成長と改革の両立が肝心だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Govt must achieve both economic growth and regulatory reform
骨太の方針 成長と改革の両立が肝心だ

What should be done to make progress on fiscal reconstruction and other mid- to long-term challenges while also improving the economy, an immediate task to be tackled by the government?
 足元の景気回復を図りつつ、財政再建など中長期的な課題の解決をどのように進めていくか。

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be tested on its ability to act on these issues.
 安倍政権の実行力が問われよう。

On Tuesday, the Abe Cabinet finalized a new version of its Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform, a guiding principle for the government’s economic management, and a revised version of its Japan Revitalization Strategy. The new version of the revitalization strategy is the second of its kind to be adopted by the administration for its growth strategy.
 政府は、経済政策の指針となる「経済財政運営と改革の基本方針」(骨太の方針)と、成長戦略の第2弾である新たな「日本再興戦略」を閣議決定した。

At a press conference, the prime minister emphasized his determination to carry out reforms aimed at revitalizing the Japanese economy, saying, “The growth strategy is a no-holds-barred reform.”
 安倍首相は記者会見で「成長戦略にタブーも聖域もない」と述べ、日本経済再生に向けて改革を断行する決意を強調した。

A document on the revised version of the policy for economic management stated that the economy is “no longer in a state of deflation” and that efforts to carry out the growth strategy would be further accelerated to ensure the nation remains out of deflation.
 骨太の方針は、日本経済は「もはやデフレ状況ではない」としたうえで、脱デフレを確実にするため、成長戦略をさらに加速させる考えを示した。

We believe the key to success in improving our nation’s ability to achieve mid- and long-term economic growth is to replenish the depleted state coffers while at the same time overcoming problems arising from the ongoing population decline.
 中長期的な成長力向上のカギを握るのは、財政の立て直しと、人口減対策だろう。

The government will be unable to conduct its policies in a stable manner if it lacks a sound fiscal foundation. The country’s population is a source of consumption and productivity.
 健全な財政基盤がなければ、安定した政策運営ができない。人口は消費や生産力の源泉だ。

The document on the economic management policy spelled out a set of measures to create a virtuous cycle of economic revitalization and fiscal reconstruction as a tool for restoring health to the troubled government finances.
The strategy for achieving this goal entails a mix of mutually complementing plans: placing priority on expenditures conducive to economic development on one hand and reforming the tax system to help facilitate economic growth on the other.
 財政健全化について骨太の方針は、経済発展に資する歳出への重点化と、成長志向の税体系を両輪に、経済再生と財政再建の「好循環」を目指す戦略を掲げた。

Success remains elusive

The document stated the government’s determination to stem the tide of a decreasing and graying population by around 2020 through progress in promoting regulatory and institutional reforms in a wide range of fields.
 人口減対策では、幅広い分野で規制・制度の改革を進め、2020年をめどに「人口減・高齢化」の流れを変えると宣言した。

It also included a plan to set up a headquarters for fighting the population decrease from a comprehensive point of view, thus achieving the goal of maintaining our nation’s population at the 100 million level 50 years from now.
 総合的に人口減対策を担う推進本部を設け、50年後も人口1億人を維持するとしている。

We believe the government deserves much credit for its resolve to squarely grapple with the fiscal crisis and the population decrease, both structural problems facing our country.
 財政と人口という日本の構造的な問題に、正面から取り組む姿勢は高く評価できる。

However, it should be noted that few satisfactory results have been achieved from the government’s long-standing efforts to improve the fiscal condition and stem the declining birthrate. This can be largely attributed to the lack of coordination among the Cabinet Office and other government ministries as well as objections from organizations to be affected by these government measures. Specific, workable measures must be resolutely implemented.
 とはいえ、財政改革も少子化対策も、長年の課題でありながら、府省縦割りや関係団体の抵抗で、十分な成果を上げてこなかった。肝心なのは、有効な具体策を、ためらわず実行することである。

It is also important for the government to make steady progress in carrying out immediate plans devised for the latest growth strategy.
 当面の成長戦略メニューを着実に進めることも大切だ。

Critics have said last year’s growth strategy lacked thorough efforts to relax what are called the entrenched bedrock regulations supported by strong antireform forces in agricultural and other sectors.
 昨年の成長戦略は、農業分野をはじめ、強い抵抗勢力に守られた「岩盤規制」に対する踏み込み不足が指摘された。

This year’s growth strategy incorporated such additional measures as a reduction in the effective corporate tax rate—the ratio of corporations’ national and local tax payments to their taxable incomes—to under 30 percent, as well as organizational reform of agricultural cooperatives. Many market players and business leaders have praised the revised growth strategy as a step forward in the promotion of full-fledged regulatory reforms.
 その改訂版とも言える今年の戦略には、法人税実効税率の20%台への引き下げや農協組織改革などの追加措置を盛り込んだ。市場や経済界には、本格的な規制改革へ前進したと評価する声が多い。

It is essential for political leaders to keep watch on the process of translating each planned policy into specific measures, so bureaucrats and other antireform forces will be prevented from scuttling the plans designed for the new growth strategy.
 各施策が、具体化の過程で官僚などに骨抜きにされないように、政治がしっかりと目を光らせることが大事だ。

Now is the time to make headway in promoting drastic reforms, when the Abe administration enjoys a good deal of stability. We hope the government and the ruling parties will unite their efforts to achieve the intended goals under the prime minister’s leadership.
 政権の安定している今こそ、大胆な改革を前に進める好機と言える。首相のリーダーシップのもと、政府・与党一体となって取り組んでもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 25, 2014)

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