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日本国債格下げ 財政悪化と政策停滞の警鐘だ

Moody's downgrade a warning over fiscal, political ills
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 26, 2011)
日本国債格下げ 財政悪化と政策停滞の警鐘だ(8月25日付・読売社説)

The major U.S. ratings agency Moody's Investors Service on Wednesday downgraded Japanese government bonds from Aa2, the third-highest rating, to Aa3, the fourth-highest.
 米大手格付け会社ムーディーズ・インベスターズ・サービスが24日、日本国債の格付けを、上から3番目の「Aa2」から「Aa3」に1段階引き下げた。

The move should be taken as a warning regarding the deterioration of Japan's fiscal situation and the paralysis in its political sphere.
 日本の財政悪化と政策停滞に対する警鐘と受け止めるべきだろう。

Now the level of Japanese government bonds is lower than those of Italy and Spain, where concern over government finances has been soaring, and the same as those of China and Chile.
 財政不安が高まるイタリアやスペインを下回り、中国やチリなどと並ぶ水準となった。

In January, another U.S. rating firm downgraded Japanese bonds to the same level.
 今年1月には別の米格付け会社も同水準に格下げした。

These are only independent evaluations by private firms, but they serve as guidelines for the creditworthiness of government bonds in the market.
あくまで民間会社の独自評価だが、市場では国債の信用力の目安となる。

If investors sell off Japanese bonds and force the interest rate to rise because of the downgrade, the government's costs for interest payments will rise, which would aggravate the fiscal situation.
 格下げを材料に国債が売られて金利が上昇すると、利払い費が増え、財政悪化に拍車がかかる。

Speculative moves have to be closely watched.
投機的な動きに注意が必要だ。

===

Fiscal rehabilitation in doubt

As reasons for the downgrade, Moody's named Japan's huge fiscal deficit and its doubts whether the country can become fiscally healthy.
 今回の格下げ理由について、ムーディーズは、日本の財政赤字が巨額で、財政健全化の達成を疑問視していることを挙げた。

The ratings agency said, "Over the past five years, frequent changes in administrations have prevented the government from implementing long-term economic and fiscal strategies into effective and durable policies." It is natural for Japan to receive such a severe evaluation.
 ここ5年、首相が頻繁に交代したため一貫した経済・財政政策がとられなかった、という厳しい指摘を受けたのも当然である。

Because of the divided Diet, confrontations between ruling and opposition parties have intensified, blocking progress on various policies.
 ねじれ国会で与野党の対立が激化し、政策は足踏みしてきた。

The most pressing issue of all--restoration of fiscal health--has been put off, causing the situation to worsen.
最優先で取り組むべき財政健全化が先送りされ、事態は悪化した。

The outstanding long-term debts of the central and local governments combined are expected to be about 900 trillion yen at the end of the current fiscal year, or 1.8 times the gross domestic product.
 今年度末の国と地方を合わせた長期債務残高は約900兆円で、国内総生産(GDP)の1・8倍にのぼる。

The country's debt-to-GDP ratio is worse than that of Greece, which is in a profound fiscal crisis.
債務の比率は、財政危機のギリシャより深刻だ。

According to the government's estimate, outstanding debts will balloon to nearly 1,200 trillion yen at the end of fiscal 2020.
 政府の試算では、2020年度末に債務残高は1200兆円近くに膨らむ見込みという。

The fiscal crises in the West have seriously affected global financial markets, but this situation is not what Japanese would call "a fire on the other side of the river."
 欧米の財政危機が世界の金融市場を揺さぶっているが、日本にとって対岸の火事ではない。

Swift reforms in both revenue and spending must be enforced before it is too late.
歳出と歳入の両面で早期に改革を断行しないと手遅れになる。

===

Political will lacking

However, the politicians of this country have little sense of crisis about the status quo and lack firm determination to move forward with fiscal rehabilitation.
 だが、肝心の政治は、現状への危機感が薄く、財政再建を進める覚悟も足りない。

The key issues in the Democratic Party of Japan's presidential election, in which candidates are competing to replace Prime Minister Naoto Kan, will include tax hikes to secure revenue to rebuild from the Great East Japan Earthquake and a review of the dole-out policies in its manifesto for the 2009 House of Representative election.
 「ポスト菅」を競う民主党代表選は、東日本大震災からの復興財源を得るための増税や、政権公約(マニフェスト)のばらまき政策見直しなどが争点となる。

However, many would-be candidates in the DPJ presidential election are cautious about the early introduction of tax hikes for reconstruction purposes.
 ところが、候補者の多くは早期の復興増税には慎重だ。

Likewise, no one has spoken in-depth about the government policy for integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, which stipulates the consumption tax rate will be raised in stages to 10 percent in the mid-2010s.
2010年代半ばまでに消費税率を段階的に10%に引き上げるとした社会保障と税の一体改革についても、踏み込んだ発言は聞かれない。

The post-Kan administration should make progress in reconstructing from the great earthquake and restoring fiscal health.
 新政権には、与野党の協力によって、復興と財政健全化を進展させることが期待されている。

The government has to make the economy steadily recover to realize an early exit from deflation. This is indispensable for recovering confidence in Japanese government bonds.
 景気を着実に回復させ、デフレからの早期脱却を図ることも、日本国債の信認回復に不可欠だ。

In the coming DPJ election we hope the candidates will discuss policies that prioritize economic growth, such as stabilizing the electricity supply and measures to combat the yen's appreciation.
 代表選では、電力の安定化や円高対策など、経済成長を優先した政策を議論してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 25, 2011)
(2011年8月25日01時09分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-08-27 06:26 | 英字新聞

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