英字新聞 (読売、毎日、朝日、英字新聞の社説を学習研究 )

2015-07-02

(社説)日本の財政再建 やはり先送りは危うい

--The Asahi Shimbun, June 30
EDITORIAL: Japan’s fiscal crunch requires immediate action
(社説)日本の財政再建 やはり先送りは危うい

Japan is submerged in debt. As of March, the government was in hock for 1.053 quadrillion yen, twice as much as the nation’s gross domestic product.
Japan’s public finances are in worse shape than any other industrial nation, even than Greece, which is trapped in a serious debt crisis. Government bonds outstanding account for over 80 percent of the nation’s overall debt load.
 日本の財政は、借金漬けだ。国の借金残高は今年3月で1053兆円、国内総生産(GDP)の2倍と先進国の中で最悪の水準であり、債務危機にあえぐギリシャをも上回る。借金の8割強は、国債である。

During the current fiscal year, which started in April, the Japanese government will have to issue 36 trillion yen worth of new bonds to plug the budget hole. When bonds issued to refinance debt coming due are counted in, the government needs to borrow 170 trillion yen in the year through March 2016.
 今年度予算では、財源不足を補うための36兆円余の新たな国債や、満期を迎えた分の借り換えなどで、総額170兆円の国債を発行する。

Can Japan really avoid a fiscal disaster if it is running up so much debt? Won’t the prices of government bonds collapse in the market where government debt securities are traded?
 こんなに借金を重ねて大丈夫なのか。発行後に国債が売買される市場で国債価格が急落(金利が急上昇)しないのか。

Huge potential risks in the market
 ■市場に潜む危うさ

Most government bonds are financed by domestic funds, ultimately by the savings of the people. Many experts say there is no need to worry about a full-blown debt crisis in Japan because the government is not dependent on borrowing from fickle foreign investors who rush to the exit at the first hint of trouble.
 国債の大半は、国内の資金、もとをたどれば国民の貯蓄でまかなわれている。逃げ足の速い海外マネーに頼っているわけではないから、大丈夫。こう説明されることが多い。

This common fiscal narrative is correct from the viewpoint of the flow of money. But we should not overlook one worrisome factor behind the money flow structure.
 おカネの流れを見れば、その通りだ。ただ、この流れに潜む構図を見落としてはならない。

That’s the Bank of Japan’s aggressive monetary easing, which has been described as “different dimension” expansion of money supply.
 「異次元」とも称される、日本銀行による大胆な金融緩和策である。

As the centerpiece of its credit easing program, the central bank is buying tremendous amounts of government bonds. Since it adopted additional monetary easing measures last autumn, the BOJ has been buying up to 90 percent of the bonds the government issues in the market.
 この政策の柱として、日銀は大量に国債を買っている。昨年秋の緩和策第2弾を経て、そのペースは、政府が市場で発行する分の最大9割に及ぶ。

The BOJ is legally banned from underwriting government bonds, or buying bonds directly from the government.
 日銀が政府から国債を直接買う「引き受け」は、法律で禁じられている。

This rule was established because the Japanese central bank once caused a virulent bout of inflation by helping the wartime government raise funds to finance the war.
かつて政府の戦費調達などに日銀が手を貸し、激しいインフレを招いた反省からだ。

Currently, the BOJ buys government bonds via private-sector financial institutions, just short of underwriting of government bonds.
現状は金融機関を経て購入しているとはいえ、引き受けも同然と言える。

Anything could happen in a financial market. Nobody can guarantee that Japanese government bonds will never crash.
 何が起きるか分からないのが、市場だ。「日本の国債だけは価格が暴落しない」というわけにはいかない。

If the bond market is roiled by a massive selloff by speculators, corporate borrowing costs as well as interest rates on housing loans will soar. When that happens, the government’s tax revenue will fall due to the consequent weakening of the economy while the government’s debt servicing costs will surge. That will be a fiscal nightmare not unlike what Greece is now facing.
投機筋などによる売り浴びせをきっかけに混乱が広がれば、企業の借り入れや住宅ローンの金利が急上昇し、景気の悪化に伴って税収が減る一方、国債の利払いは増える。ギリシャの惨状は遠い外国の話ではなくなる。

In order to prevent this kind of fiscal disaster, the government needs to keep demonstrating its solid commitment to paying back debt and thereby avoid arousing doubts about its creditworthiness.
 そんな事態を避けるには、政府が「借金を返していく」という姿勢を示し続け、「すき」を見せないことだ。

Currently, the BOJ is nipping market disruptions in the bud with its massive bond purchases. But the potential risk is underscored by the fact that none other than BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has been preaching the importance of fiscal rehabilitation to the government.
今は日銀が国債の大量購入で波乱の芽を封じ込めている格好だが、日銀の黒田総裁自身が政府に財政再建の大切さを説いていることがそれを物語る。

Can’t bank on economic growth
 ■成長頼みは禁じ手

The government’s plan to regain fiscal health, which calls for a primary budget surplus in fiscal 2020, will be an acid test of the government’s will to pay off debt.
 20年度の基礎的財政収支の黒字化を目指す政府の財政再建策は、借金を返していく意思を問う試金石だ。

But the government’s plan is based on the assumption that its tax revenue will keep growing in line with nominal economic growth at annual rates of over 3 percent, a target that is hard to achieve.
 ところが、である。
 毎年名目で3%台という、実現が難しい成長を前提として、税収も伸びていくと見込む。

While calling on the government to go ahead with the postponed additional increase in the consumption tax rate to 10 percent, the prescription for curing the nation’s fiscal woes doesn’t propose any further tax hike.
増税については、1回延期した消費税率の10%への引き上げこそ織り込むものの、それ以上は封印。

The plan calls for policy efforts to curb budget growth and cut certain expenditures. But it offers no specific measures or a road map to rein in government spending.
歳出の抑制・削減策も、メニューこそ並べたが、具体案や実行への道筋は先送りした。

The government should seek to increase its tax receipts by stoking economic growth. But banking on revenue growth due to economic expansion is a hope-for-the-best approach to restoring fiscal health that should not be adopted.
 経済成長に伴う税収増を目指すのは当然としても、それに頼ることは「期待」頼みの財政再建であり、禁じ手だ。

A reliable way to cure the budget ills is resorting to a combination of spending cuts and tax hikes. Both will inevitably be painful.
確実な手段は、歳出の削減と増税の二つ。ともに痛みを伴う。

First of all, the government needs to hammer out a realistic and effective plan to restrain budget growth and reduce its outlays. All policy areas need to be reviewed for budget cuts. But the focus should be on social security spending, which accounts for one-third of the general-account budget.
 まずは歳出の抑制・削減だ。あらゆる分野にメスを入れる必要があるが、焦点は国の一般会計の3分の1を占める社会保障分野だ。

If nothing is done, social security spending will continue growing automatically by nearly 1 trillion yen every year due to the aging of the population.
高齢化に伴い、放っておけば毎年1兆円近いペースで増え続ける。

Japan’s social security system, whose main components include the public health-care, nursing-care and pension programs, is structured along the lines of generations. Basically, the working population supports retired seniors.
 医療や介護、年金など、社会保障は「世代」を軸に制度が作られ、現役世代が高齢者を支えるのが基本的な仕組みだ。

Given that disparities in assets and income are growing within the same generations, however, it is vital to restructure the system toward distribution of the burden according to wealth.
しかし、同じ世代の中で資産や所得の格差が開いていることを考えれば「持てる人から持たざる人へ」という軸を加え、制度を改めていくことが不可欠だ。

Considering the seriousness of the fiscal squeeze, curbing budget growth and trimming expenditures here and there alone will be far from enough. The government should also consider a tax increase.
 財政難の深刻さを考えれば、歳出の抑制・削減だけでは間に合わず、増税も視野に入れるべきだ。

The pillar of any plan to increase taxes should be a consumption tax hike.
 柱になるのは消費税の増税である。

The most appropriate source of revenue to finance social security spending, which grows regardless of economic conditions, is the consumption tax. That’s because consumption tax receipts are less susceptible to economic conditions, and the burden is shared broadly by the entire public.
景気にかかわらず増えていく社会保障をまかなうには、税収が景気に左右されにくく、国民全体で「薄く広く」負担する消費税が適している。

The plan for integrated tax and social security reform worked out by the government three years ago is based on these ideas.
3年前に政府が決めた「社会保障と税の一体改革」は、そうした考え方を根本にすえる。

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ruled out raising the consumption tax rate above 10 percent. But a 10-percent consumption tax will be grossly insufficient to rebuild Japan’s debt-laden public finances.
 安倍政権は10%を超える増税を否定するが、それではとても足りない。

That’s obvious from the fact that many European countries impose a value-added tax (equivalent to Japan’s consumption tax) of around 20 percent on purchases of goods and services.
欧州の多くの国が付加価値税(日本の消費税に相当)の税率を20%前後としていることからも明らかだ。

As part of an effective tax overhaul, the income and inheritance taxes, which are levied on people’s income and assets, should also be reviewed for making the well-to-do shoulder their fair share of the burden.
 所得や資産に課税する所得税や相続税も、豊かな層に応分の負担をしてもらう方向で見直す。そんな税制を目指したい。

Inevitable pains
 ■避けられない痛み

All these reforms would be painful for taxpayers. But they are inevitable steps to ensure the long-term sustainability of social security and stop shifting the burden to future generations.
 いずれも痛みを伴う改革だ。しかし、社会保障を持続可能にし、将来世代へのつけ回しをやめるには、避けて通れない。

If the government shies away from fiscal reform and allows the situation to continue deteriorating, it could eventually face a fiscal collapse.
 財政の再建から逃げ、放置すれば、いずれ破綻(はたん)しかねない。

Such a situation would cause the biggest damage to people’s livelihoods.
いったんそうなれば、国民の生活がもっと大きな痛みを強いられる。

Japanese are now facing a crucial choice. Do they accept a radical reform of the system and an increase in their burden to be implemented through revisions to related laws by their elected representatives? Or do they opt to allow market pressure from rising interest rates to force them into necessary reforms?
 選挙で選んだ代表を通じ、法律を改正して制度の再設計や負担増を受け入れるのか。金利急騰といった市場の圧力に追いたてられて取り組むのか。

We should choose burden sharing through the democratic process.
 民主主義の手続きに基づく負担の分かち合いを選びたい。

2015-07-01

ギリシャ危機 混乱の拡大防ぐ最善の努力を

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Take all possible measures to prevent Greek crisis from expanding globally
ギリシャ危機 混乱の拡大防ぐ最善の努力を

All countries and organizations concerned must do whatever it takes to solve Greece’s financial crisis, thereby avoiding economic turmoil originating in Europe.
 欧州発の経済混乱を回避するため、関係する各国・機関は、事態打開へ全力を挙げるべきだ。

The negotiations on a bailout plan between Greece and the European Union, among others, have broken off.
 ギリシャ支援を巡る欧州連合(EU)などとギリシャとの協議が決裂した。

The EU presented a compromise plan to extend the expiry of its financial support until the end of November from the originally scheduled end of June on condition that Greece accept structural reform proposals such as tax increases and cuts in pension payments.
 EU側は、年金減額や増税といった構造改革案の受け入れを条件に、6月末の支援期限を11月末まで延長する妥協案を示した。

However, Greece suddenly announced a plan to hold a national referendum on the EU proposals on July 5. Furiously angered by the announcement, the EU has decided to cut off assistance as originally scheduled.
 だが、ギリシャは突如、EU案の是非を問う国民投票を7月5日に行う方針を表明した。これに猛反発したEU側は、期限通りに支援を打ち切ることを決めた。

The rupture in talks plunged the world’s stock markets into turmoil Monday, with the key Nikkei Stock Average closing down nearly 600 points Monday compared with Friday’s close.
 交渉決裂を受けた週明け、東京市場の平均株価が600円近く下落するなど、世界の市場に混乱が波及している。

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, “Japan will analyze the problems, too, and carefully deal with the situation.”
 菅官房長官は記者会見で、「日本も問題の情勢分析、対応に遺漏がないようにする」と述べた。

Financial authorities of Japan, the United States and other countries need to prevent the crisis from expanding by cooperating closely with the EU and the International Monetary Fund.
 日米をはじめ各国の金融当局は、EUや国際通貨基金(IMF)と緊密に連携し、危機拡大を食い止める必要がある。

The time limit for Greece’s repayment of about €1.5 billion to the IMF comes Tuesday. There is a strong possibility that Greece will default due to a shortage of funds.
 ギリシャは30日、IMFに対する約15億ユーロの債務の返済期限を迎える。資金不足で債務不履行(デフォルト)に陥る恐れが強い。

The EU has decided to discontinue the bailout plan probably because it judged that even if Greece defaults on repayment, the adverse effects on markets will be limited since lenders are mostly governments and central banks of other countries.
 EUが支援打ち切りを決めたのは、貸し手の大半が各国政府や中央銀行で、ギリシャがデフォルトになっても、市場への悪影響が限られると判断したのだろう。

Avoid underestimation

But the fact remains that the Greek crisis could deal a blow to markets given the complexity of speculation by dealers. Underestimating any possible impact is something to be carefully avoided.
 しかし、様々な思惑が錯綜さくそうする市場では、ギリシャ問題が想定外の打撃をもたらす懸念は拭えない。過小評価は禁物である。

Of course, the best solution is for Greece to accept the EU reform proposals so the time limit for repayment can be extended.
 無論、事態の沈静化を図る最善の道は、ギリシャがEU側の改革案を受け入れ、支援延長を実現することだ。

The Greek administration of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced the national referendum plan abruptly in an attempt to draw concessions from the EU on the pretext of “the public’s will.” The Tsipras administration also has likely concluded that acceptance of the EU proposals based on the result of the referendum would provide a good excuse for the administration to alter its anti-austerity policy.
 チプラス政権が国民投票を唐突に打ち出したのは、「民意」を盾にEUへ譲歩を迫る狙いがある。投票の結果、EU案を受け入れるのなら、反緊縮路線を変更する名分が立つとの計算もあろう。

The Greek people have not been well informed about the progress of negotiations with the EU and the possible impact a default would cause. Therefore, it would be irresponsible for the administration to saddle the people with making the final decision.
 ギリシャ国民は、EUとの交渉経過やデフォルトがもたらす影響を十分に知らされていない。政権が国民に最終判断を丸投げするのは、あまりに無責任だ。

The Greek government has resorted to capital control measures, including shutting banks and setting a limit on cash withdrawals, leading to long lines of anxious people in front of ATMs.
 ギリシャ政府は、銀行の休業や預金引き出し制限などの資本規制に踏み切った。現金自動預け払い機(ATM)に長い列ができるなど国民に不安が広がっている。

These steps are merely stopgaps. If Greece’s exit from the eurozone becomes reality, its economy will most certainly fall into a serious predicament.
 こうした規制は一時しのぎに過ぎない。ユーロ圏からの離脱が現実味を帯びれば、ギリシャ経済が深刻な苦境に陥るのは必至だ。

To help prevent further suffering, the Greek government must sincerely explain to the people the need for concessions and move toward compromising with the EU.
 国民をこれ以上苦しめないためにも、ギリシャ政府は譲歩の必要性を国民に真摯しんしに説明し、EU側に歩み寄らねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 30, 2015)

2015-06-30

郵貯限度額上げ 自民党提言の「含意」はどこに

The Yomiuri Shimbun
What are implications of LDP move to raise limit on Japan Post deposits?
郵貯限度額上げ 自民党提言の「含意」はどこに

Is there any convincing reason for hastening an increase in the deposit limit at the state-owned Japan Post Bank Co.? The wisdom of raising the ceiling is extremely questionable.
 郵便貯金の限度額引き上げを急ぐ必要があるのか、甚だ疑問である。

The Liberal Democratic Party has worked out a set of proposals that would increase the per-person deposit ceiling for postal savings from the current \10 million to \30 million in stages.
 自民党が、ゆうちょ銀行の貯金限度額を1000万円から段階的に3000万円に引き上げるべきだとする提言をまとめた。

The LDP has also set out a policy seeking to boost the maximum amount of life insurance coverage at Japan Post Insurance Co. to \20 million from the present \13 million. The party is calling for the government to put the proposals into force by the end of September this year.
 かんぽ生命保険の加入限度額についても、現在の最大1300万円から2000万円に増額する方針を掲げた。政府に対し、今年9月末までの実施を求めている。

The proposals say the current limit on postal savings is excessively low when taking into consideration such factors as convenience for depositors. However, the additional Diet resolution that accompanied the April 2012 enactment of the revision of the Postal Service Privatization Law stated explicitly that the deposit cap will “not be raised at least for the time being.”
 提言は、利便性などを考えれば、現行の限度額は低すぎると指摘している。しかし、2012年4月の郵政民営化法改正時の付帯決議は、限度額を「当面は引き上げない」と明記している。

This move by the LDP is clearly running counter to the spirit of the additional Diet resolution.
この趣旨に反するのは明らかである。

Japan Post Group is a state-owned, privately run enterprise with the government holding 100 percent of its paid-in capital. Should Japan Post Bank scramble to increase its total deposits on the strength of an implicit government guarantee, there could be a drain on deposits at private-sector regional financial institutions that compete with the postal bank.
 郵政グループは、政府が100%出資する国有民営の企業だ。政府の信用を背景に貯金集めに走れば、競合する地域金融機関から預金が流出することになろう。

It is only natural that the banking world is strongly concerned that an increase in the postal bank deposit cap would squeeze private businesses in the financial sector.
 金融業界が、限度額の引き上げによる「民業圧迫」に強い懸念を示しているのは当然である。

The proposed deposit cap increase is also inconsistent with the business strategy of Japan Post Bank, which aims to facilitate collaboration with regional financial institutions through such means as formulating business ties with them. The government should carefully consider the advisability of the LDP proposals.
 地域金融機関との業務提携などを目指すゆうちょ銀の経営戦略とも整合性を欠く。政府は、提言の是非を慎重に検討すべきだ。

Japan Post Group is scheduled to list the stocks of three companies, Japan Post Holdings Co. and two units under its umbrella — Japan Post Bank Co. and Japan Post Insurance Co. — at the same time this coming autumn or later.
 郵政グループは、持ち株会社の日本郵政と傘下のゆうちょ銀、かんぽ生命の計3社の株式を、今秋以降、同時に上場する予定だ。

Post offices’ vote-drawing power

The pace at which the three companies’ stocks will be put on the market remains unclear, however. Fully privatizing Japan Post Bank and the others by selling all their stocks is just a nonbinding goal to strive for.
 ただ、3社の株式がどのようなペースで市場に売却されるのか不透明である。ゆうちょ銀株などを全て売却する完全民営化は、努力目標に過ぎない。

Preparations for raising the deposit limit should be launched only after the specific path toward full privatization of the Japan Post Group firms is clarified, after the sale of their shares to the public gets on track.
 限度額の引き上げは、株式の売却が軌道に乗り、完全民営化への道筋がはっきりした段階で着手するのが筋だ。

The outstanding deposits at Japan Post Bank are estimated at \180 trillion, nearly double the figure for any one of the nation’s private mega-banks.
 ゆうちょ銀の貯金残高は約180兆円とメガバンクの2倍近い。

Its huge sum of government bond holdings, which account for more than half the assets of the postal bank, has excessively low interest rates, making it difficult for the postal bank to secure profits from holding them.
巨額の資産の半分以上を占める国債は低金利で、運用益は思うように上がっていない。

If the postal bank continues increasing its savings without any promising outlook for using them, it will become even harder for it to manage its deposits.
展望もなく貯金を増やせば、運用難に拍車をかける恐れがある。

Japan Post Co. President Taizo Nishimuro said at a news conference in April that although he believes the deposit cap should eventually be eliminated, he wondered whether abolishing the ceiling “would really be a move in the right direction when viewed from the perspective of the financial world as a whole.”
 日本郵政の西室泰三社長は4月の記者会見で、限度額撤廃が望ましいとしつつ、「金融界全体からみて正しい方向かどうか疑問を持っている」と述べた。

However, the National Association of Postmasters (Zentoku), the nationwide organization of local post office chiefs, has been seeking a higher cap on the deposits, because raising the cap will increase commission revenues for individual post offices.
 ただ、個々の郵便局は貯金額などに応じて手数料が増えるメリットがあり、全国郵便局長会(全特)は引き上げを求めている。

In the 2013 House of Councillors election, a candidate from Zentoku ran in the proportional representation contest on an LDP ticket and won with the largest number of votes of any LDP candidate.
 一昨年の参院比例選で、自民党の全特出身候補が党内トップ当選を果たした。

The ruling party subsequently included a review of the postal bank deposit cap in the electoral platform in last year’s House of Representatives election.
自民党は昨年の衆院選公約に限度額見直しを掲げた。

The LDP may be eager to see post offices give full play to their vote-gathering abilities in next year’s upper house election as well.
来年の参院選でも郵便局に集票力を発揮してほしい。

The party’s recent proposals may have been designed to serve such a purpose.
そんな意図を込めた提言ではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 29, 2015)

2015-06-29

日露電話会談 G7合意踏まえた対話が重要

idioms and words in this news,
leave no stone unturned  八方手をつくす.
(srachai)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Vital for Japan to continue dialogue with Russia, based on G-7 agreement
日露電話会談 G7合意踏まえた対話が重要

It is vital that Japan continues to hold dialogue with Russia, and to firmly criticize it over the current situation in Ukraine.
 ウクライナ情勢では批判をきちんと加えつつ、ロシアとの対話を重ねることが大切である。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone. Abe again invited Putin to visit Japan this year, and both leaders agreed to continue bilateral dialogue.
 安倍首相がプーチン露大統領と電話会談し、年内の来日を改めて招請した。日露間の対話継続でも一致した。

Abe called on Putin to play a constructive role toward the complete implementation of a ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine. It is quite natural that Japan is in step with other members of the Group of Seven advanced nations in refusing to accept Russia’s unilateral attempts to change the status quo in Ukraine.
 首相はプーチン氏に、ウクライナ東部での停戦合意の完全な履行に向けて建設的な役割を果たすよう求めた。ウクライナ情勢でのロシアによる一方的な現状変更は容認できず、先進7か国(G7)の足並みをそろえるのは当然だ。

This was the first conversation between Abe and Putin since they met in Beijing in November 2014. During their talks, the two leaders agreed Putin would visit Japan “at an appropriate time” before the end of this year.
 両首脳の対話は、昨年11月の北京での会談以来だ。この会談では、今年の「適切な時期」のプーチン氏来日で合意している。

The government will soon dispatch Shotaro Yachi, chief of the National Security Council’s secretariat, to Russia to help coordinate arrangements regarding the schedule for Putin’s visit and summit talks between Abe and Putin in third nations this autumn. A visit to Russia by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is also under consideration. We hope these opportunities for constructive exchanges of opinion at various levels will continue.
 来日日程や今秋の第三国での首脳会談を調整するため、政府は近く谷内正太郎国家安全保障局長をロシアに派遣する。岸田外相の訪露も検討中だ。様々なレベルで建設的な意見交換を続けたい。

Abe has been navigating a tortuous path as he seeks to make progress in Japan-Russia relations in a bid to resolve the northern territories issue. Western nations have imposed a travel ban on Sergei Naryshkin, speaker of Russia’s lower house. But when Naryshkin visited Japan in May, Abe boldly pushed for a meeting and showed his stance of attaching great importance to improving Tokyo-Moscow ties.
 首相は、北方領土問題の解決を目指し、日露関係の前進を図ろうと、難しい舵かじ取りを続けている。米欧が入国禁止対象とするナルイシキン露下院議長が5月に来日した際、あえて会談し、対露関係を重視する姿勢を示した。

In an interview with heads of foreign news agencies in mid-June, Putin said it is possible to resolve any problem and showed his willingness to hold a summit meeting with Abe.
 プーチン氏も今月中旬、外国通信社幹部との会見で、「すべての問題は解決可能だ」と述べ、日露首脳会談に意欲を見せている。

Fishing ban a poke at Japan?

At a time when Russia’s economy is increasingly feeling the pinch due to economic sanctions imposed by the United States and European nations, taking steps that could invite deterioration in relations with Japan is not a smart policy for Putin.
 米欧の経済制裁の影響でロシア経済が厳しさを増す中、プーチン氏にとっても、対日関係の悪化を招くのは得策ではあるまい。

It is unfortunate that both houses of the Russian Federal Assembly passed a bill that will ban drift-net fishing for salmon and trout from January within Russia’s exclusive economic zone, which extends for 200 nautical miles from that nation’s coast.
 残念なのは、ロシア上下両院が、同国沿岸から200カイリの排他的経済水域(EEZ)内でのサケ・マスの流し網漁を来年1月から禁止する法案を可決したことだ。

This ban will come into force if Putin signs it. If this happens, Japanese fishing boats will, in effect, become unable to operate in waters off the Chishima islands and some other areas.
 プーチン氏が署名すれば施行され、千島列島沖などで日本漁船は事実上、操業できなくなる。

It has been estimated that if this ban comes into effect, the economic impact on industries in eastern Hokkaido could reach up to \25 billion annually.  その場合、北海道東部の経済への影響額が年250億円に上るとの試算もある。

The government will need to leave no stone unturned as it devises countermeasures to minimize the impact of this blow.
打撃を最小限に抑えるため、政府は、対策に知恵を絞らなければならない。

Russia has justified the bill by saying it is intended to protect marine resources. However, the Japanese government has argued there are sufficient resources in these waters.
 法案は「漁業資源の保護」を理由としており、日本側は「資源は十分ある」と反論してきた。

During his phone conversation with Putin, Abe called on the Russian side to give consideration “to what is a very alarming situation for fishermen in the region.” About four hours after this request, the bill was passed.
安倍首相も電話会談で「地域の漁民には大変憂慮すべき事態」とロシア側の配慮を求めたが、その約4時間後に法案は可決された。

It is regrettable that Japan’s plea was not accepted.
 日本の主張が受け入れられなかったのは遺憾である。

Russia has extended for one year its ban on imports of agricultural products from the United States, the European Union and elsewhere, which it launched in response to sanctions that have been slapped on Moscow.
 ロシアは、対露制裁を続ける米国や欧州連合(EU)などから農産物の輸入を禁止する対抗措置を1年間延長した。

It seems to us that Russia might, under the guise of resource protection, be trying to shake Japan’s sanctions.
資源保護を名目に、日本の制裁にも揺さぶりをかけてきたのではないか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 28, 2015)

2015-06-28

米大統領交渉権 TPPの早期妥結につなげよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
U.S. legislation on fast-track authority must lead to early TPP trade accord
米大統領交渉権 TPPの早期妥結につなげよ

The conditions are finally in place to significantly push forward negotiations regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉を大きく進展させる環境が、ようやく整った。

Japan, the United States and 10 other participating countries should speed up negotiations to seal a multilateral trade deal as early as possible.
 日米など参加12か国は交渉を加速し、早期妥結を実現させるべきだ。

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a Trade Promotion Authority bill that will grant President Barack Obama fast-track authority on trade deals. The bill was earlier approved by the House of Representatives and will become law after Obama signs it.
 米上院が、オバマ大統領に通商一括交渉権(TPA)を与える法案を可決した。下院ではすでに可決しており、大統領の署名を経て成立する。

There was concern that if a trade deal was reached without Obama being given TPA, any accord agreed to by the United States would be nullified due to U.S. congressional opposition. This prevented other participating nations from rallying the momentum to reach a broad TPP agreement.
 大統領がTPAを持たずに合意しても、議会の反対で約束が反故ほごにされる恐れがある。このため参加国では、TPP大筋合意への機運が高まらなかった。

With the TPA legislation, the participating countries will aim to hammer out a broad accord at a ministerial meeting in July. For now, we welcome the TPP negotiations’ entry into a new phase.
 TPA成立を受け、参加国は7月中の閣僚会合で大筋合意を目指す。交渉が新たな局面に入ったことを、ひとまず歓迎したい。

TPP is an ambitious vision for creating a high-level free trade zone in the Asia-Pacific region. If realized, it will contribute greatly to the development and stability of the region. But tough negotiations lie ahead for all the participating countries because they are confronted with domestic opponents calling for protection of their domestic industries.
 TPPは、アジア太平洋地域に高いレベルの自由貿易圏を創出する野心的な構想だ。実現すれば、地域経済の発展と安定に大きく寄与する。ただ、各国とも国内産業の保護を唱える反対派を抱え、難しい交渉を迫られている。

The Obama administration’s stance is to promote the TPP deal. But the Democratic Party, which is supposed to support Obama, takes a strongly cautious view of the deal because the party is backed by labor unions. In contrast, most lawmakers from the Republican Party are in favor of pushing the TPP deal.
 オバマ政権は、TPP推進の立場だが、身内のはずの民主党は、労働組合を支持層としていることもあり、慎重論が根強い。一方、共和党では、TPPに前向きな議員が多数派を形成する。

Overall perspective vital

Due to the differences in opinion between the president and the Democratic Party, the TPA bill was in limbo for more than two years.
 大統領と民主党の意見の食い違いが災いし、TPA法案の扱いは2年以上も迷走した。

The lack of leadership by Obama, who is passive about winning over the opposing legislators, is undeniably to blame for exacerbating the turmoil surrounding the matter.
 議会の説得に消極的だったオバマ氏の指導力不足も、混迷に拍車をかけたことは否めまい。

Now that the battle in Congress has been settled, the focus has shifted to the fate of the TPP negotiations themselves. But it cannot be predicted how the talks will unfold.
 米議会での攻防が収束し、焦点はTPP交渉そのものに移る。その行方は予断を許さない。

Japan and the United States have made progress in their bilateral negotiations on such matters as tariff cuts on beef and pork imports. The issues left unresolved include expansion of U.S. rice imports by Japan, on which Tokyo is reluctant to concede, and the timetable and range of U.S. tariff cuts on automobile parts imported from Japan.
 日米交渉は、牛・豚肉の関税引き下げなどで進展している。ただ、日本が難色を示してきた米国産コメの輸入拡大や、米国の自動車部品関税引き下げの時期や範囲など、残された課題もある。

Tough battles have continued between the United States and emerging countries in negotiations related to intellectual property rights, including the protection period and range for newly developed medicines.
 米国と新興国は、新薬開発データの保護期間など知的財産権の分野で厳しい対立を続ける。

Top priority must be given to preventing the negotiations from drifting off course. As the countries to lead the TPP talks, Japan and the United States must cooperate to work out a final agreement as early as possible from a comprehensive standpoint.
 交渉全体の漂流を回避することが最優先だ。TPP交渉を主導する日米が大局的な見地に立ち、最終合意を急ぐことが肝心だ。

The significance of TPP is not limited to economic benefits accruing from the expansion of trade and investment. The TPP framework is also expected to serve as a check on China, which has been increasing its presence in both the economic and security spheres.
 TPPの意義は、貿易や投資の拡大を通じた経済的な利益にとどまらない。経済と安全保障の両面で存在感を高める中国を、牽制けんせいする役割も期待される。

China has been making steady progress in pushing for such plans as establishment of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank while expanding its aggressive maritime activities in the East and South China seas. If the TPP plan breaks apart in midair, it will help China become more aggressive and assertive. The participating countries should share this concern.
 中国はアジアインフラ投資銀行(AIIB)の設立などを着々と進め、東・南シナ海で強引な海洋進出を図っている。TPPが空中分解に終われば、中国の攻勢はさらに強まろう。交渉参加国は、危機感を共有すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 26, 2015)