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学研究予算 戦略なき削減は禍根を残す

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 26, 2010)
Reckless budget cuts create future problems
科学研究予算 戦略なき削減は禍根を残す(10月25日付・読売社説)

For Japan to survive intense international competition, there is no alternative but to build a nation driven by science and technological development. But it seems to us that the government is making light of this premise.
 日本が厳しい国際競争を生き抜くには、「科学技術立国」を目指す以外に道はない。
 その前提が軽んじられていないだろうか。

Many science-related budgetary allocations, including subsidies to sustain a wide range of basic research, are subject to "policy contests" in which budgetary requests by government ministries and agencies in the fiscal 2011 budget will be screened publicly.
 幅広い基礎研究を支える科学研究費補助金など、多くの科学関連予算が、来年度の予算編成で、各省庁の要望を公開審査などでふるいにかける「政策コンテスト」の対象になった。

State-run universities, which are instrumental in promoting research and fostering human resources, are included in the list of entities to be publicly screened. Operational subsidies, which are the universities' major financial lifeline, will be cut by about 56 billion yen--or nearly 5 percent--if all of their requests are rejected during the public screening.
The 56 billion yen corresponds to the entire amount of subsidies provided to Kyoto University, the second-biggest amount among national universities.
 研究や人材育成の担い手である国立大も、この対象に含まれている。主要な財源となっている運営費交付金は、コンテストで全敗すると前年度比で約560億円、5%近い大幅減となる。
 交付金が2番目に多い京都大のほぼ1校分の削減額だ。

Protect university subsidies

Since state-run universities were turned into incorporated bodies in 2004, state subsidies to them have been trimmed by about 1 percent annually--a total cut of just over 80 billion yen. This might exacerbate the current severe situation under which it is difficult to maintain research and education levels.
 2004年の法人化後、国立大の交付金は毎年約1%ずつ減らされ、すでに削減総額は800億円以上になる。研究と教育の水準維持も厳しい状況だが、これに拍車がかかりかねない。

About 210 billion yen, or 15 percent, of the budgetary requests for promoting science and technology projects--direct investments in this important field--will be subject to public screening. Also subject to scrutiny is the budget for a space probe to succeed Hayabusa, which earlier this year returned to Earth after completing its mission to the Itokawa asteroid.
 科学技術への直接投資である科学技術振興費についても、概算要求額の約15%、2100億円分がコンテストにかけられる。小惑星探査を実現した「はやぶさ」の後継機も対象に含まれる。

The important thing is to promote research and development in both basic and practical fields while fostering capable personnel. Government investment should be decided from comprehensive and strategic viewpoints.
 大切なのは、研究開発を基礎と応用の両面で進めつつ、有能な人材を育てていくことだ。政府の投資も、総合的、戦略的な観点から決定されるべきだろう。

Screening science budgets, in which participants vie for superiority from a short-term perspective against other government policies, will open the door to serious problems in the future.
 国の多種多様な政策と一列に並べて、短期的な視点から優劣を競わせるコンテストに委ねることは将来に禍根を残す。

Final decisions on whether the projects will go ahead will be made by an evaluation panel comprising government leaders. We hope the panel will at least scrutinize individual projects closely so as not to nip promising programs in the bud.
 最終的な採否は、政府幹部らで作る評価会議が決める。少なくとも個々の事業を丁寧に精査し、可能性を秘めた芽まで摘んでしまわぬよう、努めてもらいたい。

Many people in the science and technology field are concerned that there could be a repeat of last autumn's open budget screening to eliminate waste in government spending.
 特に、科学技術関係者は、公開で行われた昨秋の事業仕分けの再現を心配している。

Investments in future vital

The advisability of the government's project to develop a world-class supercomputer was questioned at a screening panel last year. One panel member even asked why Japan should try to develop the world's fastest computer. It is foolhardy to cut a budget without understanding how importance the project is.
 政府の高速コンピューター開発事業が「世界一でなくてはダメなのか」と叩(たた)かれるなど、厳しい逆風にさらされた。重要性を理解できないまま切る、では困る。

The policy contests--and the opportunity to divide up more than 1 trillion yen set aside by the government--were introduced in return for a uniform 10 percent cut from the previous fiscal year in budgetary requests by all government ministries and agencies.
 政策コンテストは、全省庁が前年度より概算要求額を一律10%減らす見返りとして導入された。総額は1兆円超の見通しだ。

Most science-related budgets are compiled by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry. Due to constraints such as the 10 percent cut in budgetary requests and the 400 billion yen required for free high school education--an important policy of the ruling parties--subsidies for state-run universities will be screened.
 科学関連予算の大半は文部科学省が編成を担う。だが、10%削減と、与党の重要政策である高校無償化の経費約4000億円が足かせとなり、国立大交付金などはコンテストに頼る結果になった。

We think high school tuition should only be made free if there is an income ceiling on recipients, so that only families who cannot afford to pay are entitled to the financial aid.
 高校無償化は所得を制限し本当に必要な人向けにすべきだ。

Investments in the future should not be trimmed because money has to be set aside for government hand-out policies.
バラマキ支給のしわ寄せで、未来への投資を削っていいはずがない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 25, 2010)
(2010年10月25日01時01分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2010-10-26 07:02 | 英字新聞

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