TPP参加表明 自由貿易推進で成長に弾みを

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 17, 2013)
Govt should push for free trade to boost economy
TPP参加表明 自由貿易推進で成長に弾みを(3月16日付・読売社説)

 ◆国家百年の計へ交渉力発揮せよ◆

It is essential for Japan's growth to tap into Asia's economic vigor by expanding the nation's free trade and investment. To that end, Japan's move to join talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact would be a major step forward.
 自由貿易と投資を拡大し、アジアの活力を取り込むことが、日本の経済成長に欠かせない。そのための大きな一歩となるだろう。

On Friday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formally announced Japan's intention to participate in negotiations on the U.S.-led multilateral free trade framework.
 安倍首相は、米国主導の環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉への参加を正式表明した。

Reaching a national consensus on the matter has been difficult over the past three years, ever since the administration of former Prime Minister Naoto Kan began considering participation. We applaud Abe's political decision on the TPP issue.
 菅政権で検討を開始して以来、約3年間、意見集約が難航した。首相の政治決断を評価したい。

"Joining the TPP talks is a farsighted national policy," the prime minister said at a press conference Friday. "If we miss this chance, we will be left behind in global rule-making efforts."
 首相は記者会見で、「TPP交渉参加は国家百年の計だ。今を逃すと日本は世界のルール作りから取り残される」と指摘した。

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TPP could boost Japan-U.S. ties
 ◆日米同盟の強化に寄与◆

Currently, 11 countries, including the United States, Australia and Canada, are conducting TPP negotiations, and 29 areas, including tariffs, services and intellectual property, are under discussion.
 TPPは米国、豪州、カナダなど11か国が関税、サービス、知的財産など29分野で交渉中だ。

Abe stressed: "We'll make full use of our negotiating power to protect what needs protecting and push for what we want. We'll seek the best way to serve national interests."
 首相が「交渉力を駆使し、守るべきものは守り、攻められるものは攻める。国益にかなう最善の道を追求する」と強調したのはもっともである。

We approve this stance. Japan, if approved, will be a latecomer to the TPP negotiations and will be in a disadvantageous position, but we hope the government will exert its negotiating power.
遅れて参加する日本は不利な立場だが、「交渉力」を発揮してもらいたい。

Meanwhile, the government has released its estimate on the economic impact of the TPP if the country joins the trade pact. According to the estimate, annual production in the nation's agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors could fall by 3 trillion yen. However, with consumption and exports growing, Japan's real gross domestic product is expected to increase by 3.2 trillion yen overall.
 政府は、TPP参加による経済効果の試算を公表した。
 農林水産業の生産額は3兆円減るものの、消費拡大や輸出増加により、全体で国内総生産(GDP)を実質で3・2兆円押し上げるという。

The Abe administration faces a test over whether it can devise a mid- and long-term growth strategy in its "Abenomics" economic policy. It is reasonable to use the TPP to boost the strategy.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」では中長期の成長戦略が問われる。そのエンジンとしてTPPを位置づけるのは妥当だ。

Abe also said TPP participation would contribute to ensuring security and stability in the Asia Pacific region. Expectations are high that the creation of a free trade zone centering on Japan and the United States could also strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 首相は、TPP参加が「安全保障やアジア太平洋地域の安定に寄与する」と語った。日米を軸にした自由貿易圏作りは、日米同盟を強化する効果も期待される。

Japan-U.S. security ties were shaken by poor diplomacy by the government led by the Democratic Party of Japan. Taking advantage of the situation, China, which is pursuing a policy of increasing wealth and military power, has opposed Japan's nationalization of the Senkaku Islands and has repeatedly sent Chinese patrol ships into Japanese waters. Such provocations by Beijing have increased instability in East Asia.
 民主党政権の稚拙な外交により日米安保体制は揺らいだ。その間隙を突くように、富国強兵路線を鮮明にする中国が日本の尖閣諸島国有化に反発し、監視船による領海侵犯を繰り返すなど、東アジア情勢を不安定化させている。

To call for a growing China to abide by international rules, it is vital for Japan and the United States to work closely together.
 台頭する中国に国際ルールの順守を求めるには、緊密な日米連携が不可欠である。

Abe was able to announce Japan's intention to join TPP talks mainly because he obtained confirmation from U.S. President Barack Obama at their February summit meeting that eliminating all tariffs would not be a precondition for joining the talks.
 そもそも、首相がTPP交渉参加を決断できたのは、2月のオバマ米大統領との首脳会談で「聖域なき関税撤廃が前提ではない」と確認したことが大きかった。

In principle, the TPP is premised on tariff elimination, but the summit meeting has made it clear that exceptions could be made for certain items under negotiation.
 TPPは関税撤廃が原則だが、交渉次第で例外品目を獲得できることが明確になったからだ。

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What must be protected?
 ◆国益として何を守るか◆

Abe took an ingenious strategy in coordinating views within the Liberal Democratic Party to make the decision to participate in the TPP talks consistent with the party's campaign pledge in the House of Representatives election last year. The LDP had pledged to oppose joining the TPP talks as long as abolishing tariffs without exception was a precondition.
 「聖域なき関税撤廃を前提にする限り、交渉参加に反対」としていた自民党の昨年の衆院選政権公約と矛盾しないように調整を進めた首相の戦略は巧みだった。

While there were arguments for and against the matter, the LDP adopted a resolution accepting Japan's participation in the TPP negotiations, which created an environment for Abe to make a final decision.
 賛否両論が出る中、自民党がTPP交渉参加を容認する決議をまとめたことで、首相が最終的に決断を下す環境が整った。

Among other conditions, the LDP resolution calls on the government to place priority on ensuring five agricultural items--rice, wheat, beef and pork, dairy products and plants for making sweeteners--will be exempt from tariff elimination. The resolution also seeks to maintain Japan's universal health insurance system.
 自民党の決議は、コメ、麦、牛肉・豚肉、乳製品、甘味資源作物の農産品の5項目の例外扱いと、国民皆保険制度の維持を最優先で求めたのがポイントだ。

Abe is apparently thinking about joining the TPP talks after confirming the party's solidarity on the matter at the LDP's convention scheduled to be held on Sunday.
 首相は、17日の自民党大会で党内の結束を確認し、交渉に臨む考えだろう。

Obama has announced a goal of completing the TPP negotiations by the end of this year. That leaves very little time as Japan is expected to join the talks around July.
 オバマ大統領は「交渉の年内妥結」を表明している。日本が実際に交渉に加わるのは7月ごろと見られ、残された時間は少ない。

Abe appointed Akira Amari, minister in charge of economic revitalization, as minister in charge of TPP issues. Serving as the government's point man, Amari must do his utmost to work on formulating trade and investment rules that reflect Japan's national interests.
 首相は甘利経済再生相をTPP相に任命した。甘利氏が政府の司令塔となり、国益を反映した貿易・投資ルール作りに全力で取り組まなければならない。

A hard-fought battle is expected over the process of narrowing down items to be exempt from tariff elimination.
 攻防が予想されるのが、関税撤廃の例外品目の絞り込みだ。

In past trade negotiations, Japan has refused to abolish tariffs for about 940 items, which account for about 10 percent of the total, mainly agricultural products such as rice and wheat.
 日本はこれまでの通商交渉で、関税分類上、コメ、麦など農産品を中心に、全体の約1割に相当する約940品目の関税を一度も撤廃していない。

It remains unclear how many items Japan will be able to keep as exceptions. Each country has items they want treated as exempt, with Canada seeking exceptions for dairy products and Mexico for textiles and shoes.
 日本がどれだけ関税撤廃の例外を獲得できるかは不透明だ。カナダは乳製品、メキシコは繊維や靴など、各国とも例外扱いを望む品目がある。

Japan has compromised in prior consultations with the United States and largely agreed, for the time being, to allow the United States to delay eliminating import tariffs it imposes on passenger vehicles and trucks. In return, Japan should win concessions from the United States on agricultural products.
 日本は米国との事前協議で譲歩し、米国が乗用車とトラックにかけている輸入関税の撤廃を当面猶予する方向で大筋合意した。日本はその見返りに、米国から農産品で譲歩を引き出すべきだ。

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Strengthening agriculture
 ◆農業強化策が急務だ◆

It is an urgent task for Japan to strengthen agriculture's competitiveness in preparation for further market liberalization. Apart from participation in the TPP talks, the current situation of Japan's agriculture, where farmers are aging, is already severe.
 一層の市場開放に備えた農業の競争力強化が急務である。TPP交渉参加とは関係なく、高齢化が進む日本農業の現状は厳しい。

As Abe pointed out that the TPP is a "big opportunity, not an adversity," the government should put efforts into such policies as fostering farmers, and promote "aggressive agriculture."
 首相が「ピンチではなく、むしろ大きなチャンス」と指摘したように、政府は担い手農家育成などの政策に注力し「攻めの農業」を推進することが求められる。

Japan will soon agree to begin negotiations for an economic partnership agreement with the European Union and also is scheduled to begin talks for a trilateral free trade agreement with China and South Korea.
 日本は近く、欧州連合(EU)との経済連携協定(EPA)交渉開始に合意し、日中韓の交渉もスタートさせる予定だ。

Japan should switch to the offensive on the TPP and regain lost ground in its trade policies by accelerating negotiations for other trade pacts.
TPPで反転攻勢をかけるとともに、他の交渉も加速し、通商政策を巻き返さなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 16, 2013)
(2013年3月16日01時34分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-03-18 08:32 | 英字新聞

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