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自公連立合意 TPP先送りなら国益損ねる

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 27, 2012)
Delay in joining TPP talks will harm national interests
自公連立合意 TPP先送りなら国益損ねる(12月26日付・読売社説)

If the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito truly attach importance to the nation's best interests, they must not delay in deciding to participate in negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral trade agreement.
 国益を本当に重視するなら、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉に参加する決断を先送りしてはなるまい。

LDP President Shinzo Abe and Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi met Tuesday to sign an agreement on forming a coalition government. Their accord covers eight areas, including economic stimulus, diplomacy and security policies.
 自民党の安倍総裁と公明党の山口代表が会談し、景気・経済対策、外交安保など8項目の連立政権合意書に署名した。

The agreement says the coalition government "will promote free trade more than ever," but on the TPP specifically it stipulates that the new administration "will pursue the course that best serves the national interests."
 合意書は、「自由貿易をこれまで以上に推進する」としたうえ、TPPについて「国益にかなう最善の道を求める」と明記した。

In their campaign platforms for the Dec. 16 House of Representatives election, both the LDP and Komeito took a cautious stance on the TPP issue. The LDP said it "opposes taking part in the TPP talks if they are premised on abolishing tariffs without exception." Komeito said it "will create an environment [in the Diet] where full deliberations can take place."
 先の衆院選政権公約は、自民党が「聖域なき関税撤廃が前提なら反対」、公明党も「(国会で)十分審議できる環境をつくる」と、いずれも慎重だった。

The coalition agreement is a positive development if it leaves some room for participating in the talks.
連立合意は、TPP交渉参加に含みを持たせたのであれば、前向きな動きだ。

Eleven countries, including the United States and Australia, are trying to reach an agreement on the TPP by the end of next year. Japan failed to decide to join the TPP talks and fell behind Canada and Mexico.
 米豪など11か国は、来年中のTPP交渉の妥結を目指している。日本は参加に踏み切れず、カナダ、メキシコにも後れをとった。

Participating in the TPP talks would be an effective means to help the national economy grow through free trade, and strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 自由貿易を通じた経済成長にも日米同盟の強化にも、TPP参加は有力な手段となるはずだ。

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No time for caution

Some LDP members are eager to enter the TPP negotiations, pushing for the incoming government to announce Japan's participation during a visit by the prime minister to the United States early next year. However, others remain cautious, calling for a decision to be delayed until after the House of Councillors election next summer out of fear that the party may lose the farm vote.
 自民党内では、来年初めの首相訪米時の参加表明を求める積極論がある一方で、農業票の離反を恐れて来夏の参院選後に決断を先送りする慎重論も根強い。

We understand the LDP wants to focus on "driving safely" at least until the upper house poll, but it must remember that inaction that could delay joining the TPP talks reduces the country's say in trade and investment rules, which could harm the national interests.
 参院選前は「安全運転」に徹したい事情は理解できるが、交渉参加を遅らせる不作為は、日本の主張を貿易・投資ルールに盛り込む余地を狭め、結果的に国益を損ねることを忘れてはならない。

When it comes to a trade agreement, Japan can opt for pulling out of the negotiations or eventually rejecting the accord in the Diet if it is determined to go against the national interests. Assuming only bad scenarios even before joining the talks is not constructive. We urge the incoming government to announce at an early date that Japan will join the TPP negotiations.
 通商協定では、国益に反すると判断すれば、交渉過程で離脱することも、最終的に国会で承認しない選択もあり得る。交渉前から、悪いシナリオばかりを想定するのは建設的ではない。まずは早期に交渉参加を表明すべきだ。

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Keep taxes simple

The coalition agreement states that discussions will be held on introducing reduced tax rates for food and other necessities as a measure to help low-income earners when the planned consumption tax hike goes into effect. This was a concession by the LDP to Komeito.
 連立合意は、消費税率引き上げ時の低所得者対策として、食料品などの軽減税率の導入を検討することを盛り込んだ。自民党が公明党に歩み寄ったものだ。

Such a system is simpler and clearer, as well as easier to understand than the Japanese version of the earned income tax credit proposed by the Democratic Party of Japan-led administraion. Applying the reduced tax rates to newspapers and books would help protect intellectual culture. We urge the LDP and Komeito to discuss and overcome problems such as how to decide what items should be subject to reduced tax rates.
 軽減税率は、民主党政権が主張する給付付き税額控除よりも簡明で、分かりやすい。新聞や書籍を対象とすれば、知的文化を守ることにつながる。対象品目の線引きなどの課題は、自公両党が十分協議し、克服してもらいたい。

On nuclear energy policy, the coalition agreement did not adopt the "zero-nuclear policy," which was in Komeito's election pledges, but instead called for the use of nuclear power for the time being. It said the coalition government "will reduce the nation's dependence on nuclear power plants."
 原発政策は、公明党が公約に掲げた「原発ゼロ」を採用せず、「原発依存度を減らす」との表現で当面の活用をうたった。

We commend the agreement for its realism, which will allow nuclear reactors to be reactivated once they have been confirmed safe.
安全が確認された原発の再稼働も容認し、現実的な内容と評価できる。

Abe has said he would review the DPJ-led administration's policy of not approving the construction of new nuclear power plants. It is essential to minimize negative impacts on the economy and employment, while also ensuring the safety of nuclear power plants.
 安倍氏は、原発新設を認めない民主党政権の方針を見直す考えも示している。経済・雇用への悪影響を最小限に抑えることと、原発の安全確保との両立が大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 26, 2012)
(2012年12月26日01時25分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-12-28 06:58 | 英字新聞

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