TPP方針 「平成の開国」は待ったなしだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 11, 2010)
Govt must seize chance to join TPP negotiations
TPP方針 「平成の開国」は待ったなしだ(11月10日付・読売社説)

Japan remains uncertain on whether it will join a massive free trade framework that covers the Asia-Pacific region.
 アジア太平洋地域をカバーする巨大な自由貿易圏に加わるのかどうか、日本の姿勢は依然、あいまいなままだ。

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the government's basic policy on economic partnership agreement strategies, a field in which Japan is lagging behind its competitors.
 政府は9日、出遅れた経済連携協定(EPA)戦略の基本方針を閣議決定した。

As for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was seen as a focus of the basic policy, the government ended up using vague expressions, saying that Japan would "move expeditiously to improve the domestic environment" and "initiate consultations with TPP member countries." Stopping short of declaring its intent to participate in the TPP, the government effectively put off making a final decision.
 焦点だった環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)については、「国内の環境整備を早急に進め、関係国との協議を開始する」という表現にとどまった。参加を表明せず、判断を先送りしたものだ。

Last month, Prime Minister Naoto Kan expressed his intention to consider joining the TPP. It cannot be denied that the government's policy announcement Tuesday seemed to be a step backward from what Kan had said.
 菅首相が先月表明した「交渉参加の検討」と比べると、後退した印象が否めない。

If things continue to stand as they are now, we will be unable to expect increased international competitiveness from Japanese companies.
 このままでは、日本企業の国際競争力向上は望めない。

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No time for inaction

We urge the prime minister to exert his leadership to decide on Japan's participation in the TPP before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting opens this weekend in Yokohama and announce the decision to the rest of the world.
週末に横浜で開くアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)首脳会議までに、首相は指導力を発揮してTPP参加を決断し、その方針を国際的に表明すべきではないか。

As part of the basic policy on trade liberalization, it was also agreed that the government will draw up in June next year principles to reform agriculture, a sector that will be key to Japan's future handling of the TPP. The government likely intends to decide whether to take part in the regional economic agreement around that time.
 TPPへの対応で、カギを握る農業については、改革方針を来年6月に策定することを決めた。政府はその前後に、TPP参加の是非を判断するつもりらしい。

However, nine countries, including the United States and Australia, are already in negotiations on the TPP with a view to reaching an agreement in November next year. Given this schedule, it will be too late to draw up a reform plan on agriculture in June, and Japan will miss the chance to join negotiations on the agreement. The prime minister must bring forward the schedule on the agricultural reform plan, aiming to enter negotiations as soon as possible.
 しかし、TPPは米国や豪州など9か国が交渉中で、来年11月の合意を目指している。6月の農業改革案の策定では遅く、交渉参加の時機を逸してしまう。首相は策定を前倒しし、早期に交渉入りを目指さねばならない。

The government's policy on the TPP turned out to be vague as a result of confrontations, within both the government and the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, between TPP advocates and those who oppose market liberalization for farm products. They ended up compromising on ambiguous expressions.
 TPPの方針があいまいになったのは、政府と民主党内で、推進派と農産品の市場開放に抵抗する反対派が対立した結果、玉虫色の表現で妥協したからだ。

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Is the door closing?

However, a significant difference exists between consultations for the purpose of gathering information and actual negotiations. With such vagueness in the TPP policy, Japan may be turned away at the door by other countries that are already in negotiations.
 情報収集を目的とする協議と実際の交渉とでは大違いだ。この方針では、日本は門前払いされる恐れもある。

In the first place, even if Japan officially announces its participation in the negotiations, it will have to gain approval from the nine countries to join the process. In addition, Japan will be subject to strict conditions to enter negotiations, such as not exempting certain products that are currently protected with high tariffs, such as rice, from tariff abolitions.
 もっとも、日本が交渉への参加を正式表明したとしても、9か国の同意が必要なうえ、高関税で保護しているコメなどの特定品目を関税撤廃の例外扱いにしないとの厳しい条件が課される。

Canada, which is reluctant to fully open its dairy product market, has not been allowed to join the TPP talks. With agricultural organizations and other parties opposing liberalization of farm products, Japan faces a high hurdle to joining the negotiations.
 乳製品の市場開放に消極的なカナダは、まだ交渉参加を認められていない。農業団体などが農産物の自由化に反対している中、日本の交渉参加のハードルも高い。

But if Japan does not join the TPP, the country will suffer tremendous disadvantages. The country will be excluded from the Asia-Pacific free trade framework and may lose trade and investment opportunities in the region.
 日本がTPP不参加の場合、不利益は甚大だ。アジア太平洋の自由貿易圏から締め出され、貿易や投資の機会を失いかねない。

A recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey showed that 60 percent of the public thinks the country should take part in TPP negotiations, a result that can be translated as indicating the public's high expectations for the TPP accord.
 本紙の全国世論調査で、6割がTPP交渉に参加すべきだと答えている。TPPへの期待の高さを示したと言えよう。

The prime minister is calling for "opening up the nation in the Heisei era [which began in 1989]," aiming to unite market liberalization and revitalization of the agricultural sector. With a number of difficulties lying ahead on the road to realizing those goals, the government will have to come up with concrete measures to promptly materialize them.
 首相は、市場開放と農業再生との両立を目指す「平成の開国」を掲げる。前途多難だが、迅速に実現する具体策が問われよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 10, 2010)
(2010年11月10日01時55分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-11-11 07:24 | 英字新聞

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