巨額貿易赤字 輸出力の強化と原発再稼動を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 28, 2013)
Restart nuclear power plants, boost exports to recoup trading ground
巨額貿易赤字 輸出力の強化と原発再稼動を(1月27日付・読売社説)

The foundation of Japan as a trading country is eroding. Both government and private sectors must work together to recoup lost ground.
 「貿易立国」としての日本の土台が揺らいでいる。官民で巻き返しを図らねばならない。

The 2012 trading balance--exports minus imports--ran up a record deficit of 6.9 trillion yen, far exceeding 2.6 trillion yen in 1980 that immediately followed the second oil crisis.
 輸出額から輸入額を差し引いた2012年の貿易収支は、過去最大の6・9兆円の赤字だった。第2次石油危機直後の1980年に記録した2・6兆円を大きく上回った。

Last year's trade deficit is 2.7 times more than the 2011 figure, the first trade deficit in 31 years, which was attributable to the negative effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake. This is a very serious situation.
 東日本大震災の影響で31年ぶりに貿易赤字に転落した一昨年と比べても2・7倍に増えた。極めて深刻な事態である。

The trade deficit was caused by a decline in exports due to the European financial crisis and deceleration of the Chinese economy, combined with a sharp increase in imports.
 要因は、欧州危機や中国経済減速に伴い、輸出が減少する一方、輸入が急増したことによる。

After the disaster occurred at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the operations of nuclear reactors were suspended around the country. Since then, only two have been reactivated.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所事故後、原発が全国で停止し、再稼働したのは2基にとどまる。

As an alternative electricity source, power companies have been operating thermal power stations at full blast. Consequently, imports of liquefied natural gas, the fuel needed for these power stations, have increased abnormally to a massive 6 trillion yen a year.
 電力各社が代替電源として火力発電をフル稼働した結果、燃料となる液化天然ガス(LNG)の輸入額が年間で約6兆円にも達する異常事態になっている。

Meanwhile, Japan's current account balance, which includes dividends and interest from overseas investment, remains in surplus. However, there are concerns that this balance will eventually fall into the red if the trade deficit continues.
 海外への投資による配当や利子の受け取りを含めた経常黒字は続いている。だが、巨額の貿易赤字が慢性化すると、いずれ経常収支も赤字転落が懸念されよう。

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Hollowing out of industry

To rebuild its status as a trading nation, Japan first has to strengthen the competitiveness of its manufacturing industry to increase exports.
 「貿易立国」の立て直しにまず必要なのは、輸出拡大につながる製造業の競争力強化である。

Japanese electrical appliance manufacturers have fallen behind their South Korean rivals in the markets of flat-screen televisions, mobile phones and others. Japan also has a 3 trillion yen a year excess in imports for medicine and medical equipment, markets that are growing quickly.
 電機業界は、薄型テレビや携帯電話市場などで韓国メーカーなどに出遅れた。成長市場である医薬・医療機器分野でも、年約3兆円の輸入超過になっている。

Japanese manufacturers must develop attractive products of high value and find ways to capitalize on growing markets in the emerging economies of Asia and other regions.
 製造業各社が、付加価値の高い魅力的な商品を開発し、アジアなど新興国の成長市場を積極的に取り込む工夫が要る。

Behind the huge trade deficit is the rapid hollowing-out of the domestic manufacturing industry, as Japanese firms are moving their production overseas to avoid the high costs of operating in this country.
 貿易赤字の背景には、コスト高を回避するため、製造業が拠点を海外に移転し、国内空洞化が加速している事情がある。

The government should help Japanese companies by such means as lowering corporate tax and giving tax credits for investment so they will be able to take full advantage of manufacturing in Japan. The Industrial Competitiveness Council created recently by the government should devise measures to promote "made-in-Japan" products.
 国内立地の利点を享受できるよう、政府は法人税減税や投資減税などを拡充し、企業を支援すべきだ。新設された産業競争力会議は「メード・イン・ジャパン」のテコ入れ策を示してもらいたい。

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Make decision on TPP

The government also should not wait any longer to decide on participating in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact to help Japanese firms compete better in overseas markets.
 海外市場の攻略には、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加決断も待ったなしだ。

What would be most important to reduce imports would be to reactivate idle nuclear reactors quickly after their safety has been confirmed. The longer Japan depends on thermal power generation, LNG imports will continue to increase and the nation's wealth will flow to countries rich in natural resources.
 一方、輸入を減らすために最も重要なのは、安全性を確認できた原発の再稼働を急ぐことだ。火力発電に依存する状況が長期化するほど、LNGの輸入額が増えて国富が資源国に流出する。

The rising cost of LNG also will eventually result in an increase in electricity charges.
 LNG調達コスト上昇で電気料金値上げに拍車をかけよう。

The excessively strong yen has been corrected and the weaker yen is becoming the norm on foreign exchange markets. This helps exporters, but excessive depreciation of the yen will further increase the prices of imports of LNG and other foreign products. Close attention should be paid to this.
 為替市場で超円高が是正され、円安が定着してきた。輸出企業にはプラスだが、円安が行き過ぎるとLNGなどの輸入額を一段と急増させる。これにも要警戒だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 27, 2013)
(2013年1月27日01時34分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-01-29 06:29 | 英字新聞

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