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2016年5月28日 (土)

サミット開幕 安定成長促す協調が問われる

The Yomiuri Shimbun
G-7 cooperation key to spurring stable growth of global economy
サミット開幕 安定成長促す協調が問われる

To ensure sustainable global economic growth, it is essential for the Group of Seven major countries to join hands and lead the way.

In a session of discussions about the world economy, regarded as the focal point of the G-7 Ise-Shima summit meeting, which opened Thursday, participating leaders shared the view that there are major risks due to such factors as a slowdown in emerging economies.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as chair of the summit, said the current situation resembles the circumstances before the 2008 global financial crisis caused by the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers. Abe cited concrete data indicating a slackening of investment and gross domestic product in emerging economies.

He noted, “There are risks that, if we make an error in policy response, the situation will go beyond an ordinary business cycle and enter a crisis.”

Some of the G-7 leaders raised doubts about using the term “crisis” but agreed to “push resolutely for a flexible fiscal strategy and structural reform policy” in accordance with the conditions in G-7 nations.

Abe might have gone so far as referring to the global financial shock in the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy because he wanted to lay the foundation for postponing the hike in the consumption tax rate to 10 percent that is scheduled for next April.

Abe defined financial policy, fiscal stimulus and structural reform as a G-7 version of his “three arrows” policy package. His proposal to implement all possible policy measures was approved by other G-7 leaders.

It is an accomplishment that the G-7 leaders have agreed to implement policies according to circumstances as preemptive steps to deal with any emerging crisis.

Boosting growth potential

The G-7 nations face the common plight of a lack of demand, which stems from individuals and businesses refraining from consumption and investment amid concern over potentially prolonged stagnation.

It is essential to boost growth potential through deregulation and other measures, thereby encouraging private-sector investment.

However, it will take a certain period of time before private demand rises on its own. It would be meaningful if governments flexibly and swiftly implement fiscal stimulus policy in their efforts to create demand.

Participating leaders pointed out, one after another, that slackening growth and the expanding income gap are factors behind the emergence of populism in the political world.

During the first-day session, the leaders agreed that establishing a society in which the middle class can have hopes for the future will require investments in “high-quality infrastructure” and fields such as education, science and technology. Steady policy implementation is called for.

Regarding the promotion of free trade, the leaders confirmed anew the need for early effectuation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, in which Japan, the United States, Canada and nine other countries are participants, and steady negotiations between Japan and the European Union over an economic partnership agreement.

With a presidential election set for autumn in the United States, voices in favor of protecting domestic industries have been gathering strength in that country. As this could threaten free trade, it cannot be brushed aside.

We want the G-7 leaders to display leadership in moving ahead with domestic procedures, including approval of the TPP by relevant legislatures.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 27, 2016) Speech


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