TPP論議―大局的視点を忘れるな

2011/10/18
--The Asahi Shimbun, Oct. 16
EDITORIAL: Noda should have broad perspective for debate on TPP
TPP論議―大局的視点を忘れるな

A project team of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan has started debate on Japan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)の参加問題について、民主党のプロジェクトチームが議論を始めた。

Party members will discuss the topic in various meetings until early November, when the government is to make the final decision on whether Japan should take part in the ongoing talks over the trade liberalization pact.
政府が参加の是非を判断する予定の11月上旬に向けて、党内で様々な会合が開かれる見込みだ。

An Oct. 12 meeting of DPJ lawmakers opposed to or skeptical about this proposal focused on issues related to the health-care and pharmaceutical industries.
 反対・慎重派の12日の会合では医療・製薬分野が取り上げられた。

At the meeting, senior executives of the Japan Medical Association warned that the deregulation of these industries resulting from Japan's participation in the accord would cause the health-care system in Japan to collapse.
日本医師会の幹部らが、TPP参加に伴う規制緩和で国内の制度が崩壊すると訴えたのに対し、

Foreign Ministry officials in charge of the TPP pointed out that a public health-care insurance program is not covered by the TPP negotiations, but the participating legislators refused to be reassured.
外務省の担当者は「公的な医療保険制度はTPPでは議論の対象外」と説明したが、参加議員は納得しなかった。

The TPP talks deal with a wide range of areas, from farm trade, the touchiest topic, to labor, environment and food safety regulations.
 TPPでは最大の懸案である農業のほか、労働、環境、食品安全など幅広い分野が対象になる。

The government should give the public detailed explanations about how the negotiations are going.
政府は交渉状況を丁寧に説明してほしい。

Opponents claim they are trying to protect the livelihoods of the people.
反対派が唱える「国民の生活を守る」という大義名分の陰に、

But it is important to find out whether such a claim is simply used as a pretext to protect the vested interests of related industries.
関連業界の既得権益を守る狙いがないか、見極めることが重要だろう。

At the same time, the broad viewpoint of Japan's position in the world economy must not be missing from any debate on the TPP.
 同時に、国際経済の中で日本が置かれた状況という大局的な視点を忘れてはなるまい。

With the domestic market shrinking due to a declining number of children, it is vital for Japan to expand its economic cooperation with other countries, especially in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region.
 少子化で国内市場が縮小するなか、成長著しいアジア太平洋地域を中心に経済連携を深めることは欠かせない。

Few would dispute this argument.
この点で異論は少ないはずだ。

Japan has been striking bilateral economic partnership agreements with trade partners in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world.
 日本も東南アジア諸国などと2国間の経済連携協定(EPA)を積み重ねているが、

But these agreements have failed to produce significant effects because Tokyo, in an attempt to limit their impacts on domestic agriculture, has made sure through the negotiations that many items are exempted from the liberalization of bilateral trade.
農業への配慮から、相手国との間で自由化の例外品目を数多く設けてきたため、効果に乏しい。

While Japan has been dithering and waffling on how to tackle this policy challenge, however, the rest of the world has been taking action.
 日本がもたつく間も、世界は動いている。

Typifying the trend is South Korea, which has emerged as a main rival for Japan in its mainstay industries, such as the auto and electronics sectors.
自動車や電機といった日本の主力産業でライバルとなった韓国が典型だ。

Following the coming into effect in July of South Korea's free trade agreement with the European Union, Seoul's trade deal with the United States has also been approved by the Congress and is now on track to come into force early next year.
 欧州連合(EU)との自由貿易協定(FTA)が7月に発効したのに続き、米国とのFTAも米議会が法案を可決し、来年早々の発効に近づいた。

The United States will phase out tariffs on South Korean products, including a 2.5-percent duty on passenger cars and a 25-percent tariff on trucks.
米国は乗用車に2.5%、トラックに25%など関税をかけているが、韓国製品には順次撤廃される。

The European Union will also gradually eliminate import duties on products from South Korea, such as a 10-percent duty on passenger vehicles and a 14-percent tariff on flat-panel TVs.
 EUでも乗用車の10%、薄型テレビの14%といった関税が、対韓国では削減・撤廃されていく。

Japanese industries are worried that these deals will put them at a serious disadvantage in competition with their South Korean rivals and may accelerate their shift of production to the United State and Europe or areas that have free trade agreements with the Western industrial nations.
日本の産業界は危機感を強めており、欧米や欧米とFTAを結ぶ地域への工場移転に拍車がかかりかねない。

In the late 1990s, South Korea decided that its long-term economic fortunes ride on external demand and started pursuing free trade agreements with its key trade partners while developing measures to protect its agriculture.
 韓国は90年代末、「外需が国の生き残りのカギ」と見定め、農業の保護策をまとめつつFTA推進へかじを切った。

There are certainly some significant differences between the two countries.
South Korea is a much smaller economy than Japan and depends even more on trade for economic growth.
日本と比べて経済規模が小さく、貿易への依存度が極めて高いなど、事情に違いはある。

But Japan can learn a lot from the way its neighbor has mapped out a clear strategy for its economic future and pursued the strategy effectively.
ただ、明確な戦略と実行力に学ぶべき点は少なくない。

The TPP offers the best possible opportunity for Japan to catch up with its rivals in the race to strike free trade agreements.
 TPPへの参加は、経済連携戦略での遅れを取り戻す、またとない機会だ。

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda needs to hatch a grand trade strategy and provide the effective leadership needed to put it into action.
野田首相に問われるのも、大きな戦略とリーダーシップである。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-10-19 05:18 | 英字新聞

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