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2014年12月10日 (水)

1ドル=120円台 差益還元で痛みを和らげたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Big firms must pass on exchange rate gains to households, smaller firms
1ドル=120円台 差益還元で痛みを和らげたい

The decline in the yen’s exchange value is a boon for the Japanese economy as a whole, but as things stand, many smaller businesses and consumers are suffering due to the weakness of the nation’s currency.
 円安は日本経済全体にはプラスだが、痛みを感じる中小企業や消費者も多いのが現状だ。

It is essential to make efforts to ensure that the weak yen’s benefits spread to a wide spectrum of society, while exercising further caution about exchange market trends.
 相場動向に一段と注意を払うとともに、メリットを幅広い層に浸透させていく努力が欠かせない。

The dollar has risen above ¥120 for the first time in seven years and four months, or since July 2007.
 円相場が、7年4か月ぶりに1ドル=120円台をつけた。

The yen has slumped at an unexpectedly rapid pace, with the currency’s rates dropping by ¥10 against the dollar in a little more than a month in the wake of the Bank of Japan’s surprise announcement of additional monetary easing toward the end of October.
 日銀が10月末に電撃的な追加金融緩和に踏み切った後、1か月あまりで円安が10円も進むという、急ピッチな展開である。

Given the increasingly bright outlook for the U.S. economy, some observers say the Federal Reserve Board will shift to a policy in favor of raising interest rates next year. More than a few market analysts have forecast that the yen’s decline will likely continue against the backdrop of the strengthening of the dollar, at least for the time being.
 米国の景気が明るさを増し、来年には利上げに転じるとの観測もある。市場では、「強いドル」を背景とした円安局面は当面、続くとする見方が少なくない。

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average has been soaring near the 18,000 mark. Expectations are high that business performance will be boosted by a pickup in exports and weak yen-induced gains in dollar-based overseas earnings, which are swelling in yen terms.
 東京市場の平均株価は、1万8000円に迫る水準に上昇している。輸出の持ち直しや、海外で稼いだドルを円換算した利益が膨らむ「円安差益」が、企業業績を押し上げるとの期待は大きい。

Japan’s eight major automakers, for instance, are expected to see a total gain of ¥80 billion per business year for every ¥1 depreciation against the dollar.
 例えば大手自動車8社は、1円の円安で合計800億円の増益が見込まれるという。

It is believed that many companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange are likely to log record high profits this fiscal year, due partly to the favorable effects of the yen’s depreciation. In addition, crude oil prices have dropped by a large margin, serving as a tailwind to drive corporate profits higher.
 円安の効果もあって、今年度の上場企業の利益は過去最高の水準に迫る勢いだ。原油価格が大幅に下落していることも、企業業績の追い風となっている。

Winners must aid others

The retained earnings, or internal reserves, of top-performing companies have continued to increase, having already surpassed ¥300 trillion in total. It is hoped that such firms will be ready to help raise the overall level of the national economy through such means as wage raises for their employees and the expansion of capital investment.
 企業の内部留保にあたる利益剰余金は増加が続き、すでに総額300兆円を超えた。余裕のある企業は、賃金や設備投資などの形で国内に還元し、日本経済の底上げに貢献してもらいたい。

The government, for its part, should consider beefing up policy measures to throw its support behind these efforts in the private sector.
 政府は、民間の努力を後押しする政策支援を検討すべきだ。

On the other hand, small and midsize enterprises not directly engaged in export operations and overseas business activities have hardly benefited from the yen’s depreciation. Instead, a growing number of smaller firms have seen their profitability threatened by surging import costs for raw materials and other items.
 一方、輸出や海外での事業に直接関わらない中小企業などは、円安の恩恵を受けにくい。円安で輸入原材料などの価格が上がり、利益が圧迫されている中小メーカーは増えている。

In this regard, it is worth noting that Toyota Motor Corp., which usually asks its parts manufacturers to lower their product prices every half a year, broke away from the practice in October and refrained from making such a request. This can be considered a thoughtful move.
 トヨタはこれまで、半年ごとに納入価格の引き下げを部品メーカーなどに求めてきたが、今年10月は慣例を破り、値下げ要求を見送った。適切な配慮だろう。

Diverse midsize and smaller Japanese companies with highly specialized technological capabilities are a precious asset that support the foundations of the domestic manufacturing sector. Joint public-private efforts should be made to protect such companies as a critical base for Japan’s industrial development.
 オンリーワンの技術を持つ多様な中小企業は、日本のもの作りを支える貴重な財産だ。日本産業の発展を担う基盤として、官民を挙げて守っていきたい。

The weakening yen’s impact on households is also worrying. Markups have been made one after another on such goods as frozen foods, which rely on imported raw materials. With consumers tending to tighten their purse strings even further, concerns remain over the possibility of a recovery from sluggish consumption being delayed all the more.
 円安が家計に与える影響も心配だ。輸入原材料を多く使う冷凍食品などの値上げが相次いでいる。消費者の財布のヒモがさらに固くなり、低迷する消費の回復が一段と遅れる懸念は拭えない。

The government plans to hammer out as early as the turn of the year a new policy package of economic measures centering around steps to extend support to smaller businesses and low-income earners who are experiencing financial hardship due to the yen’s decline. While this can be deemed right and proper, it is extremely important to narrow the list of measures down to those that can be considered truly effective.
 政府は年明けにも、円安で窮地に立つ中小企業や低所得者への支援策を柱とした経済対策を打ち出す。妥当な対応だが、効果的な施策に絞り込むことが重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 7, 2014)Speech

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