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太平洋経済連携 首相は交渉参加に指導力を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 28, 2010)
Kan must take initiative to join TPP negotiations
太平洋経済連携 首相は交渉参加に指導力を(10月27日付・読売社説)

Members of the government and the Democratic Party of Japan are split over whether Japan should join an economic partnership framework to liberalize trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.
 アジア太平洋で貿易や投資を自由化する経済連携に加わるかどうか。政府や民主党内などで意見が対立している。

It is extremely important for Japan's economic growth that this nation harnesses the economic vitality of nations in Asia and elsewhere.
 アジアなどの経済活力を取り込み、成長を実現していくことは、日本にとって極めて重要な課題だ。

We urge Prime Minister Naoto Kan to exercise leadership to quickly form a consensus within his party on this matter, and make sure Japan is actively involved in the partnership framework.
菅首相は指導力を発揮して党内の意見集約を急ぎ、この連携に積極的に参加できるよう、決断すべきだ。

The framework is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, whose original agreement came into force in 2006 with four members--Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. Five more nations including the United States and Australia later started negotiations to join the partnership. The nine nations have been negotiating with the target of concluding a final agreement next autumn.
 構想は、2006年にシンガポール、チリなど4か国で発足した自由貿易圏が母体で、環太平洋戦略的経済連携協定(TPP)と呼ばれる。米国や豪州なども後から参加し、来秋の合意を目指して9か国で交渉している。

Canada, China and South Korea are reportedly keen to join the TPP. It is highly likely that this grouping will eventually expand into a huge strategic economic partnership agreement.
 カナダ、中国、韓国も参加に前向きとされ、将来、大連携に発展する可能性が高いだろう。

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Chance to grow at stake

If Japan does not join the TPP, it would be excluded from a framework indispensable for the country's economic development. We think the government would be wise to join the negotiations as early as possible to boost trade and give economic growth a shot in the arm.
 日本がTPPに不参加なら、経済発展に欠かせない枠組みから締め出されてしまう。早期に交渉に加わり、貿易拡大や新たな成長を目指すのは当然の判断だ。

Discussions for and against participation in the TPP came to life after Kan told the Diet he would consider joining the negotiations.
 賛否の論議が活発になったのは、首相が交渉参加を検討すると国会で述べたのが発端だ。

Japan's strategy on economic partnership agreements has fallen behind those of South Korea and other countries. The government will at long last formulate a basic policy on EPAs in early November. It seems Kan wants to include Japan's participation in the TPP in this basic policy.
 経済連携協定(EPA)の戦略で韓国などに出遅れた日本は、ようやく、11月上旬にEPA基本方針を策定する。首相はTPP参加を盛り込みたいようだ。

The timing of these developments suggests Kan would like to lead discussions on promoting free trade at a series of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings to be held in Yokohama next month. Kan will be chairman of the APEC summit.
 来月横浜で開くアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)で、首相は議長として自由貿易推進の議論を主導する狙いもうかがえる。

Japan urgently needs to regain lost ground in its trade policy. We welcome Kan's zeal for joining the TPP.
 通商政策の巻き返しは急務であり、首相の意欲は評価したい。

However, difficulties lie ahead. The TPP defines rules to abolish tariffs of commodities in principle. If Japan signed on to the agreement, it would be required to abolish tariffs on agricultural products such as rice, which have been protected by high customs duties. Therefore, the framework will pose some vexing problems for Japan.
 しかし、TPPは原則、物品の関税を撤廃するルールだ。高関税で保護されている日本のコメなどの農産物も関税撤廃を迫られかねず、高いハードルでもある。

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Conflicts of interest

Agricultural organizations and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry fiercely oppose joining the TPP. Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, former Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Masahiko Yamada and many other DPJ members participated in a recent study meeting for DPJ members who oppose the TPP. They are at odds with the Foreign Ministry, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry and the business community, which are all for participation in the TPP.
 農業団体と農水省は猛反発し、TPP参加に反対する民主党の会合には鳩山前首相や山田前農相らが出席した。推進派の外務、経産両省や経済界と対立している。

We think Hatoyama and other TPP opponents are more concerned with trying to rattle the Kan administration than actually objecting to the trade partnership.
 鳩山前首相らは、TPP反対より、政権への揺さぶりを優先しているのではないか。

Admittedly, diametrically differing estimates of the effects of Japan's participation in the TPP have created confusion. METI and others say joining the TPP would help Japan's economy by about 7 trillion yen to 10 trillion yen in 2020. However, the farm ministry says participation would result in a loss of nearly 16 trillion yen, if the decline in agricultural production and effects on other industries are factored into the equation.
 TPP参加の影響に関する正反対の試算が混乱を招いているのは事実だ。経産省などは、TPPの経済効果を約7兆~10兆円と試算したが、農水省は生産縮小などの損失が16兆円に達するとした。

The government needs to settle on one final figure and show it to the people. Failure to do so will leave the public unable to judge whether joining the TPP would be to Japan's advantage or not.
 政府は効果の試算を一本化し、国民に示すべきだ。それがなければ、的確な判断はできまい。

The DPJ-led government has introduced income support for individual agricultural households, but it has done nothing to improve the international competitiveness of Japan's agricultural products. It should review this dole-out policy and quickly formulate measures to revamp the nation's agriculture sector to prepare for liberalization of the market.
 民主党政権は、農家の戸別所得補償制度を導入したが、国際競争力向上の視点を欠く。ばらまき政策を見直し、自由化に備えた農業の強化策を急がねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 27, 2010)
(2010年10月27日01時46分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2010-10-28 05:39 | 英字新聞

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