日欧EPA 早期合意で劣勢を巻き返せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 8, 2012)
Early conclusion of Japan-EU EPA needed to catch up with S. Korea
日欧EPA 早期合意で劣勢を巻き返せ(12月7日付・読売社説)

Japan has lagged far behind South Korea in expanding economic partnership relationships with other countries and regional blocs. It needs to even the score by concluding an agreement with the European Union as soon as possible.
 日本は経済連携を広げる戦略で韓国に大きく出遅れた。欧州連合(EU)との妥結を急ぎ、劣勢を巻き返す必要がある。

The council of EU trade ministers has decided to green-light the start of negotiations for an economic partnership agreement with Japan, which has been a pending issue between the two parties.
 EUの貿易相理事会が懸案だった日本との経済連携協定(EPA)交渉の開始を決めた。

Japanese and EU leaders are expected to officially agree on the kickoff of talks as early as January.
来年早々にも首脳間で正式に合意する予定だ。

The EU had been hesitant to agree to the start of the negotiations due to concerns over a possible surge in imports from Japan. Although it was a long path to reach this point, we welcome the decision by EU officials to sit at the negotiating table.
 日本からの輸出増を警戒するEUが交渉になかなか同意せず、長い道のりだったが、交渉のテーブルに着くことを歓迎したい。

South Korea, an economic rival to Japan, began negotiations with the EU in 2007 on a free trade agreement, which took effect in July 2011. Under the FTA, the EU and South Korea will gradually lower tariffs on mineral and industrial products, among others, and completely abolish them in five years.
 ライバルの韓国は、2007年にEUと交渉を始め、昨年7月に自由貿易協定(FTA)を発効させている。鉱工業品などの関税を互いに段階的に引き下げて、5年以内に撤廃する内容だ。

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South Korean advantage

The EU levies high tariffs on imports from Japan and others--10 percent on automobiles and 14 percent on flat-screen TVs, for instance. In contrast, the tariff cuts on products from South Korea have started and Seoul has been benefitting from the deal. In the latter half of last year, South Korean automobile exports to the EU doubled compared to the same period in 2010.
 EUは日本などから輸入する自動車に10%、薄型テレビに14%の高い関税をかけている。これに対し、韓国製品の関税引き下げが始まり、昨年下半期に韓国からの欧州向け自動車輸出が前年同期比で倍増するなど効果は大きい。

It is only natural Japan's automobile and household appliance manufacturers, who are competing with their South Korean counterparts, have an increased sense of crisis. The government must accelerate the promotion of the EPA negotiations with the EU to improve Japan's disadvantageous position.
 韓国メーカーと競う日本の自動車や家電業界が危機感を強めているのは当然だ。不利な条件を改善するため、政府は対EU交渉を加速すべきである。

However, elements of the negotiations are not clear.
 しかし、先行きは不透明だ。

The EU said it will cancel the negotiations if it judges Japan's efforts toward market liberalization are insufficient one year after the talks begin. Japan should proceed with caution on this attitude demanding major concessions from Japan.
 EUは交渉開始から1年後に、市場開放への日本の取り組みが不十分と判断した場合、交渉を打ち切る方針を示した。
日本に大幅譲歩を求める強硬姿勢を警戒しなければならない。

We are also concerned over the idea of the EU considering invoking a safeguard action--emergency import restriction--if imports of specific products from Japan sharply increase.
 日本から特定品目の輸入が急増した時、EUは緊急輸入制限措置(セーフガード)導入を検討すると牽制(けんせい)した点も懸念される。

Aiming at participation in the Japanese market, the EU is reportedly ready to demand Japan to improve nontariff barriers such as easing safety standards for medical equipment and a review of government procurement in the rail and transportation fields, among others.
 EUは日本市場への参入を狙って、医療機器などの安全基準の規制緩和や、鉄道・交通分野での政府調達の見直しなど、非関税障壁の改善を要求する構えという。

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Negotiate tenaciously

It is basic in trade negotiations to expand the sphere of free trade, by seeking points of compromise while protecting certain products or industries. Japan should engage in the negotiations patiently, while considering the removal or improvement of nontariff barriers as much as possible.
 通商交渉は、互いに守るべきものを守りながら接点を探り、自由貿易を拡大することが基本だ。日本は非関税障壁の改善を検討し、粘り強く交渉すべきだ。

A major reason behind the EU decision to start EPA negotiations is that Japan has begun preliminary talks toward possible participation in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership framework, a pan-Pacific EPA led by the United States. We believe the EU, which is not participating in the TPP talks, has a strong interest in the moves of Japan and the United States.
 EUが日本との交渉に踏み出す背景には、日本が米国の主導する環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加に向けて関係国と協議に入ったことがある。TPPに含まれないEUには、日米の動きに強い関心があるのだろう。

In such a situation, Japan should pursue a more strategic move to grab the EU's attention by participating in the TPP negotiations as early as possible to gain a position of strength in the EPA talks.
 だからこそ、日本はTPPに早期に参加することでEUを揺さぶり、通商交渉の主導権を握る戦略的な取り組みを進めるべきだ。

As it is quite important to provide momentum to the nation's economic growth with the expansion of free trade, Japan must promote a positive trade policy.
 自由貿易の拡大で、日本の成長に弾みを付けることが重要だ。日本は積極的な通商政策を推進しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 7, 2012)
(2012年12月7日01時32分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-12-09 07:15 | 英字新聞

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