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2014年6月 6日 (金)

榊原経団連発足 政権との関係改善進めたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Keidanren must improve ties with political circles under new leadership
榊原経団連発足 政権との関係改善進めたい

Can the new leader of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), a body whose influence on the world of politics has declined, rebuild the organization and help lead the nation’s economic revitalization? The head of the business lobby faces massive challenges.
 影響力の低下した経団連を立て直し、日本経済再生の先頭に立てるか。財界トップが直面する課題は大きい。

Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of Toray Industries, Inc., has taken the post of the new Keidanren chairman.
 経団連の新しい会長に東レ会長の榊原定征氏が就任した。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed support for Keidanren in an address at a regular general meeting, saying, “[The government] will make efforts in cooperation with the private sector to realize reform and economic growth.” In addition, Sakakibara said at a press conference, “Politics and economics work in combination like two wheels of a vehicle.”
 安倍首相は経団連の定時総会で「官民一体で改革と成長の実現に取り組みたい」と、エールを送った。榊原氏も記者会見で「政治と経済は車の両輪だ」と語った。

The relationship between Keidanren and the Abe administration took a turn for the worse during the term of former Keidanren Chairman Hiromasa Yonekura. With a change in the post, we welcome a situation that would set the stage for the promotion of growth strategy through cooperation between the government and the private sector.
 経団連と安倍政権の関係は、米倉弘昌前会長時代に冷え込んだ。トップ交代を機に、官民が連携して成長戦略を推進する環境が整ってきたことを歓迎したい。

Though Toray is smaller than previous companies that have produced Keidanren chairmen, Sakakibara has the advantage of experience as a member of a government advisory panel, the Industrial Competitiveness Council, and a connection to the Abe administration.
 東レは、経団連会長を輩出してきた企業に比べれば小粒だが、榊原氏には、政府の産業競争力会議の民間議員を務め、安倍政権とのパイプを持つ強みがある。

At his inaugural press conference, Sakakibara asserted that Japan’s effective corporate tax rate, which is higher than that of other major countries, should be lowered to less than 30 percent in three years. We understand that he hopes to increase the competitiveness of Japanese firms.
 榊原氏は早速、諸外国より高い法人税の実効税率を、3年で20%台に引き下げるべきだと主張した。日本企業の競争力を高めたいとの考えは理解できる。

However, it would be a problem if companies consequently tried to accumulate the benefits of tax reduction as internal reserves. We hope Sakakibara will set out a concrete course showing how to link the benefits of tax reduction with investment leading to growth.
 ただ、「減税の果実」を企業が内部留保としてため込むばかりでは困る。成長につながる投資にどう結びつけていくか、榊原氏は具体的な道筋を示してほしい。

From tax cut to pay hike

As the consumption tax rate was just raised in April, there is deep-rooted criticism that corporate tax reduction means preferential treatment for companies. Keidanren needs to contribute to the realization of a virtuous cycle whereby household income increases due to pay hikes at firms with positive earnings and expanded consumption boosts business performance.
 4月に消費税率が引き上げられたばかりで、法人税減税には「企業優遇」との批判が根強い。好業績企業の賃上げで家計の所得が増え、消費拡大が業績をさらに押し上げる「好循環経済」の実現に経団連も貢献する必要がある。

Keidanren should strongly urge companies to make the benefit of pay hikes spread to more workers.
 賃上げの恩恵が多くの労働者に広がるよう、経団連は企業への働きかけを強めるべきだ。

As the service sector has been growing, Keidanren, whose main members come from the manufacturing industry, has been pressed to reform itself. Meanwhile, the Japan Association of New Economy, which largely comprises information technology-related firms, has been making its own policy proposals.
 サービス産業の比重が高まり、製造業が主要メンバーの経団連は変革を迫られている。情報技術(IT)企業が中心の新経済連盟も独自に政策提言している。

We hope Keidanren will take broad account of companies’ needs and ask the government to realize policies that contribute to the nation’s economic growth.
 経団連が幅広い企業のニーズを吸い上げ、日本経済の成長に資する政策の実現を政府に求めていくことを期待したい。

As Keidanren has withdrawn its involvement in political donations, the business lobby’s influence on the political world has weakened compared to the past.
 政治献金への関与から手を引いた経団連は、以前より政界に対する発言力が弱まっている。

Last year, for the first time in four years, Keidanren resumed its policy assessments of political parties, to be used as a yardstick by member companies to make decisions about political donations. But only ruling parties have been the target of such assessments, and the organization stopped using a five-level rating system that graded policies in each category on a scale of A to E. As a measurement tool used to make decisions on whom member firms will donate to, such a system may be inadequate.
 昨年には、傘下企業が政治献金先を決める目安となる「政策評価」を4年ぶりに再開したが、与党だけを評価し、政策分野ごとに評点をつけるランク付けも見送った。企業が献金先を判断する指標としては不十分だろう。

It is still of great importance that companies participate in politics by making lawful political donations while abiding by the rules.
 企業がルールを守ったクリーンな献金を通じて、政治に参加する意義は依然として大きい。

Keidanren must improve and expand its system of assessing political parties’ policies to create better criteria on which decisions on political donations can be made.
 企業献金のよき判断材料となるよう、経団連は政策評価の充実を図るべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 5, 2014)

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