公共事業 選択と集中で効果的な投資を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 9, 2012)
Public works spending should be highly selective
公共事業 選択と集中で効果的な投資を(12月8日付・読売社説)

In the wake of the recent ceiling collapse in the Sasago Tunnel on the Chuo Expressway in Yamanashi Prefecture, public works policies have suddenly become a key issue for the upcoming House of Representatives election.
 中央自動車道・笹子トンネルの天井崩落事故を受けて、公共事業政策が衆院選の主要な論点に急浮上している。

Neglecting aging roads, bridges and other infrastructure poses a risk to public safety. To maintain such infrastructure with limited funds, political parties are being asked how they would make public works projects more efficient.
 老朽化した道路や橋などを放置すれば、国民の安全が脅かされる。限られた財源で社会資本を維持するため、公共事業をどう効率化するかが問われよう。

Under what it calls a "national land strengthening plan," the Liberal Democratic Party has called for the investment of 200 trillion yen over 10 years in projects such as disaster management. New Komeito also has unveiled a 10-year 100 trillion yen "new deal" plan to prevent and reduce damage from major disasters.
 自民党は、「国土強靱(きょうじん)化計画」を掲げ、防災などを目的に10年間で事業費200兆円の公共投資を想定している。公明党も、10年間で100兆円規模の「防災・減災ニューディール」を示した。

The Democratic Party of Japan, which called for a shift in focus "from concrete to people" in the previous 2009 lower house election, has once again criticized such plans proposed by the LDP and Komeito as "pork-barrel measures." Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has raised questions, asking people, "Will we return to the old politics of the LDP?"
 2009年の前回衆院選で、「コンクリートから人へ」を掲げた民主党は、今回も自公両党の政策を「ばらまきだ」と批判している。野田首相は、「元の自民党の政策に戻るのか」と牽制(けんせい)した。

Meanwhile, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) has vowed to boost Japan's competitiveness without increasing public works projects. But it lacks specific measures.
 日本維新の会は、公共事業を拡大せず、日本の競争力を高めると主張するが、具体策は不明だ。

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Infrastructure needs attention

Roads, bridges, water and sewerage systems and other infrastructure built nationwide during the period of the nation's rapid economic growth are nearing the end of their life span, causing them to deteriorate rapidly. Taking care of aging infrastructure is an urgent task.
 高度成長期に整備された全国の道路、橋、上下水道などがまもなく寿命を迎え、急速に損傷や劣化が進む。老朽化した社会資本の対策は急務と言える。

We hope political parties present measures to alleviate such public concerns.
 国民の不安を和らげる方策を各党は示してもらいたい。

According to an estimate by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, 190 trillion yen will be needed over the next 50 years to maintain or rebuild infrastructure. Amid financial difficulties, government spending on public works has declined every year. There is no room for sudden major expenses.
 国土交通省の推計では、更新費用は今後50年間で190兆円に膨らむ。財政危機の中、公共事業費は年々減少しており、大盤振る舞いする余裕はない。

To minimize costs, finding damaged infrastructure and fixing it early is crucial to extend its life span. The nation should place priority on inspecting and repairing bridges by taking lessons from a series of bridge collapses in the United States due to aging.
 危険箇所の早期発見や補修で長寿命化を図り、費用を圧縮することが重要だ。老朽化で橋の落下事故が相次いだ米国を参考に、橋の点検・補修を優先すべきだ。

Considering its shrinking population, Japan may be forced to stop using low-use public facilities and infrastructure, such as bridges.
 人口減少を考慮すれば、利用が減った公共施設や橋などは使わないなどの決断も求められる。

The nation must carry out new public works projects under a strategy of "selection and concentration." A focus should be placed on projects linked to economic growth such as the development of loop roads in urban areas and the building of airports and ports that could become international hubs.
 新規事業についても、「選択と集中」を進めねばならない。都市部の環状道路網、国際拠点となる空港や港湾など、経済成長に資する事業は重視する必要がある。

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Cost-effectiveness is key

The DPJ-led government's approval of the extension of Shinkansen lines is questionable in terms of cost-effectiveness. This project should be reviewed.
 民主党政権が整備新幹線の着工を認可したことは、費用対効果から疑問が残る。見直すべきだ。

The LDP's national land strengthening plan focuses on large-scale projects such as development along an axis on the western coast of Honshu facing the Sea of Japan so that region could supplement the east in the event of a major disaster there. The plan resembles the revival of the "archipelago-remodeling" policy the party implemented in the 1970s.
 自民党の国土強靱化計画が、日本海国土軸など大型事業に固執している点も、70年代の「列島改造」の復活を連想させる。

The political parties must not forget that ineffective economic measures and overdevelopment of roads and airports, which had lower-than-expected demand, were partly blamed for swollen government budget deficits.
 効果の乏しい景気対策、需要予測を下回る道路や空港の乱造などが、膨大な財政赤字の一因となった教訓を忘れてはならない。

The idea of allocating part of tax revenues from consumption tax increases to public works projects also should be ruled out. It is vital to make effective public investments by taking advantage of funds and expertise from the private sector.
 消費税率引き上げによる税収増の一部を、公共事業に充てようとする案も論外だ。民間の資金や知恵を生かす発想で、効果的な公共投資を進めることが肝要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 8, 2012)
(2012年12月8日01時24分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-12-10 08:01 | 英字新聞

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