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経済連携交渉 日本主導で自由貿易圏加速を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 29, 2013)
Japan should take upper hand in FTA negotiations
経済連携交渉 日本主導で自由貿易圏加速を(3月28日付・読売社説)

Prompted by Japan's recent announcement it would join the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, various large-scale, free trade agreement initiatives have begun materializing one after another.
 日本が環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉への参加を正式表明したことを契機に、広大な自由貿易圏の構想が次々と具体的に動き出した。

On Tuesday, the inaugural round of negotiations on a trilateral FTA between Japan, China and South Korea kicked off in Seoul.
 日本、中国、韓国3か国の自由貿易協定(FTA)の第1回交渉がソウルで始まった。

Tokyo has also agreed with the European Union to begin talks in April on an economic partnership agreement. In May, negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will begin, with countries including Japan, China, South Korea and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations expected to join the talks.
 日本は、欧州連合(EU)との経済連携協定(EPA)交渉を4月に開始する方針でも合意した。日中韓と東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)などが参加する東アジア包括的経済連携(RCEP)の交渉も5月にスタートする。

We can say the trend of nations and regions vying to create FTA frameworks beneficial to themselves has accelerated.
 各国・地域が自らに有利な自由貿易圏を競う潮流が、さらに鮮明になってきたと言えよう。

As Japan is scheduled to participate in multiple FTA negotiations, there is an opportunity for the nation to proactively engage in establishing regional trade rules. The government must devote itself to realizing these FTAs at the earliest opportunity, paving the way for boosting Japan's economic growth.
 複数の交渉に加わる日本にとって、貿易ルール作りに積極的に関与できるチャンスである。各交渉の早期合意を実現し、成長に弾みをつけなければならない。

Regarding FTA talks, it is clear that Japan is lagging behind South Korea, which has already concluded FTAs with the United States and the EU. It has been a considerable time since Japan presented FTA proposals to its Asian neighbors and the EU, but talks on these have been slow to materialize.
 韓国が米国やEUとのFTAを発効させたのに比べて、日本は出遅れが目立つ。打診していた中韓両国や欧州との交渉を開始することすらできずにいた。

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Japan rallying from behind

However, the EU, China and South Korea have recently begun making favorable comments regarding negotiations with Japan, following Tokyo's move to join TPP talks.
 ところが、日本のTPP交渉参加の動きを受けて、EUと中韓が対日交渉開始へ軟化に転じた。

It appears the EU intends to counter the influence of the TPP with an EU-Japan FTA. The EU has also agreed with the United States to begin FTA negotiations, with talks expected to start soon. It is obvious that the EU is concerned about the possibility of being left behind in the global trend.
 EUには、日本との協定をTPPへの対抗軸にする思惑がうかがえる。米国ともFTA交渉開始で合意し、近く交渉を始める。世界の動きからEUが取り残される事態を警戒したのは明らかだ。

We assume Beijing has a similar goal. The problem of the Senkaku Islands persists between Japan and China, but it seems China is trying to counter the United States' deepening influence in Asia by engaging in talks with Japan and South Korea.
 日中間では尖閣諸島の問題がくすぶるが、中国も日中韓交渉の開始により、アジアへ関与を深める米国を牽制(けんせい)する狙いがあろう。

Japan's challenge is clear--whether it can take the initiative in setting up trade rules.
 日本の課題は、貿易ルール作りを主導できるかどうかだ。

Points of contention in Japan-EU talks will be eliminating the EU's high tariffs on automobiles and other products, as well as Japan's market deregulation in fields such as cars and medical equipment. Reaching an agreement quickly presents Japan and the EU with many hurdles to overcome.
 EUとの交渉では、EUによる自動車などの高関税の撤廃とともに、日本の自動車、医療機器市場などの規制緩和が焦点になる。早期合意へのハードルは高い。

The outlook of negotiations between Japan, China and South Korea is also unclear, as issues such as intellectual property rights and competition policies are expected to be discussed at the talks.
 日中韓交渉も、知的財産権や競争政策などが交渉分野になるだけに、先行きは不透明だ。

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Need to be a tough negotiator

Regarding TPP talks, countries are expected to employ various tactics on whether to exempt agricultural products, such as rice, from tariff elimination.
 TPPでは、コメなど農産品を関税撤廃の例外扱いにするかを巡って駆け引きが予想される。

A major premise for Japan in joining the TPP talks is to seek to create a new free trade framework that will enhance the level of the market openness of the region.
 日本にとって、市場開放度を高める自由貿易の新たな枠組みを目指すことが大前提である。

Meanwhile, by simultaneously undertaking other FTA negotiations, Japan will be able to put pressure on the United States, the EU and China. The government must use its bargaining power to pursue the interests of the nation in the negotiations. It is also important to keep in mind the necessity of inducing China to comply with international trade rules.
 一方、交渉を同時並行で行うことで米欧や中国を揺さぶる道も開けよう。国益を反映させる交渉力を発揮すべきだ。中国を国際ルールに取り込む必要もある。

As Japan--one of the world's major exporters--has recorded trade deficits in recent years, it is urgent to get the nation back on its feet. Japan's announcement to join the TPP talks had a far-reaching impact on the world. To exploit this opportunity, Japan must prepare a sharp strategy for the negotiations.
 貿易赤字に転落した「輸出大国」の立て直しは急務と言える。TPP参加表明が世界に及ぼした相乗効果を生かし、政府にはしたたかな戦略が求められよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 28, 2013)
(2013年3月28日01時13分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2013-03-30 08:50 | 英字新聞

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