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農業政策 攻めの戦略で自由化に備えよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 13, 2013)
Prepare for liberalization with aggressive agricultural strategy
農業政策 攻めの戦略で自由化に備えよ(2月11日付・読売社説)

Japanese agriculture obviously needs to enhance its competitiveness and reform itself to withstand further trade liberalization.
 競争力を高め、一層の貿易自由化に耐えうる体質に変えていく。日本農業の課題は明らかだ。

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry has established a headquarters for promoting aggressive agricultural, forestry and fishery industries. The headquarters will reportedly discuss steps to expand agricultural exports, and those steps will be reflected in a growth strategy the government plans to compile.
 農林水産省が「攻めの農林水産業推進本部」を設置した。農産品の輸出拡大などを検討し、政府がまとめる成長戦略に反映させるという。

In the headquarters' first meeting, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said, "We want to help producers to increase their added value, well satisfying consumer demand, and to tap the full extent of the latent strengths of the agricultural, forestry and fishery industries."
 林農相は初会合で「生産現場が需要を敏感につかんで付加価値を高め、農林水産業の潜在力を最大限に引き出したい」と語った。

We have no objection to this basic policy. The question is whether the government can introduce measures to back it up.
 基本的な方針に異論はない。問題は、それを裏付ける政策を打ち出せるかどうかである。

So far, discussions of agriculture under the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe can hardly be considered aggressive.
 安倍政権の農業論議は、とても「攻め」の姿勢とは言えない。

The fiscal 2013 budget symbolizes this. The agriculture-related budget increased for the first time in 13 years, but we wonder how much it will strengthen the competitiveness of the nation's agriculture.
 2013年度予算案が象徴的だ。農業予算は13年ぶりに増額されたが、どこまで農業の競争力強化に役立つだろうか。

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Throwing money at farms

Expenditures for land improvement projects, significantly cut when the Democratic Party of Japan was in power, have been restored. Taking the fiscal 2012 supplementary budget into consideration, this expenditure amounts to about 600 billion yen.
 民主党政権が大幅に削減した土地改良事業費を復活させた。12年度補正予算案と合わせると約6000億円に上る。

The income compensation system for individual farming households, under which subsidies are handed out uniformly, has been left untouched. Its budget remains basically the same as in the previous year, when funds were earmarked for it under a different name.
補助金を一律にばらまく農家の戸別所得補償制度も手つかずで、名称を変えて前年度並みの予算を計上した。

Government policy that attached too much importance to rice, which is produced mostly by part-time farmers, caused a decline in agriculture. Meanwhile, there is no sign that the graying of the farm population will stop.
 兼業農家が主体のコメを偏重した政策が、農業の地盤沈下を招いた要因である。就業者の高齢化にも歯止めがかからない。

The government must thoroughly promote a policy of expanding the size of farms by increasing the number of vigorous young new entrants, including those from different industries, as well as by concentrating farmland and funds into core farms with excellent management sense.
 異業種を含めて意欲ある若手の新規参入者を増やし、経営感覚に優れた中核的な農家に農地や資金を集中する規模拡大政策を徹底しなければならない。

The "multifunctionality direct payment system" that the Liberal Democratic Party has begun to discuss, with the aim of introducing it in fiscal 2014, is also problematic.
 14年度の導入を目指して自民党が検討に乗り出した「多面的機能直接支払い制度」も問題だ。

Considering that farmlands have multiple functions such as protecting national land and communities, the envisaged system will provide income compensation to all farmers maintaining farmlands.
 農地には国土や集落を守る多面的な機能があるとして、農地を維持するすべての農家を所得補償の対象にする仕組みである。

Merely further expanding subsidy-laden agricultural policies will never brighten the prospects of the nation's agriculture.
 補助金漬け農政をさらに拡大するだけでは、展望は開けない。

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Focus on productivity, value

The proportion of full-time farmers is high among vegetable, fruit and dairy farmers. They increase the added value of their products on their own initiative and compete with products from overseas in the market.
 野菜、果樹、酪農などは専業農家の比率が高く、自助努力で商品の付加価値を高め、海外産品と市場で競い合っている。

Rather than offering subsidies as an easy solution, it is necessary to create a system to increase productivity and expand sales channels at home and abroad.
 安易な補助金より、生産性を向上させ、国内外に販路を拡大する体制づくりが求められよう。

Regulatory reform is essential to nurture agriculture as a growing industry. The government's reinstated Regulatory Reform Council should also take a scalpel to the Agricultural Land Law as well as such regulations as the agricultural cooperative system--both of which hinder companies from entering agricultural businesses.
 農業を成長産業に育てるには、規制改革が欠かせない。復活した政府の規制改革会議では、農ビジネスへの企業進出を阻んでいる農地法や農協制度などの規制にも切り込んでほしい。

Opposition has been growing within the LDP against the country's entering into negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade framework.
 自民党内では、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)の交渉参加への反対論が勢いを増している。

To prevent "aggressive agriculture" from ending up as an empty slogan, Abe should decide to enter the TPP negotiations at an early date. It is necessary to accelerate agricultural reforms and prepare for the TPP.
 「攻めの農業」を掛け声倒れに終わらせないためにも、安倍首相は交渉参加を早期に決断すべきである。農業改革を加速し、TPPに備えることが必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 11, 2013)
(2013年2月11日01時12分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-02-13 06:52 | 英字新聞

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