「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

<   2010年 06月 ( 30 )   > この月の画像一覧

名古屋場所開催 勧告踏まえて抜本的改革を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 30, 2010)
Take tough steps to restore sumo's honor
名古屋場所開催 勧告踏まえて抜本的改革を(6月29日付・読売社説)

The Japan Sumo Association has decided to open the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on July 11 as scheduled, despite an abnormal situation in which it will suspend many wrestlers, including seven in the top makuuchi division, from the tournament and put the JSA chairman on probation over the ongoing gambling scandal.
 幕内だけでも7人の力士を休場させ、理事長までもが謹慎という異常事態の中、日本相撲協会は7月11日からの名古屋場所の開催を決めた。

The JSA has forfeited the public's trust through the scandal over illegal betting on professional baseball games, and there are many who question its decision to hold the Nagoya tournament. Since it is going ahead with the tournament under such adverse circumstances, the JSA must quickly present cleanup measures rigorous enough to satisfy fans of the national sport.
 野球賭博問題で相撲協会の信用は失墜した。場所開催を疑問視する声も少なくない。そうした中で場所を開くからには、協会は、ファンが納得する浄化策を早急に示さねばならない。

===

Panel urged harsh penalties

The association's board of directors decided to accept recommendations made by a special investigation panel comprising 10 outside experts regarding conditions for holding the Nagoya tournament.
 相撲協会の理事会は、外部の10人で構成する特別調査委員会から「名古屋場所開催の条件」として提示された勧告を受け入れることを決定した。

The panel recommended the JSA should dismiss or mete out heavier penalties against stablemaster Otake (former sekiwake Takatoriki), who is alleged to have habitually bet huge amounts of money, and ozeki Kotomitsuki, who was blackmailed by a former wrestler over his gambling.
 勧告は、常習的に多額の金を賭けていた大嶽親方(元関脇貴闘力)と、恐喝事件に巻き込まれた大関琴光喜について、「解雇以上」とするよう求めた。

In addition, the panel urged the JSA to put the other wrestlers involved in the illegal gambling and their stablemasters on probation. In line with the recommendations, the association decided to suspend a total of 14 wrestlers, including Kotomitsuki, from the Nagoya tournament. The stablemasters to be put on probation include JSA Chairman Musashigawa.
 さらに、野球賭博にかかわった力士と、所属する部屋の親方の謹慎も求め、これを受けて協会は、琴光喜ら14人の力士の休場を決定した。謹慎する親方には、武蔵川理事長も含まれている。

Otake and Kotomitsuki's punishment will be officially decided at the association board meeting scheduled for Sunday, but they are likely to receive tough penalties as recommended by the panel. Many sumo fans must feel sorry to see the misconduct of Kotomitsuki, the highest-ranked Japanese wrestler, and Otake, who took over the stable established by legendary yokozuna Taiho.
 大嶽親方、琴光喜については、7月4日の理事会で改めて処分を決めるが、勧告通り、厳罰は避けられないだろう。大鵬部屋を継承した大嶽親方、日本人力士最高位の琴光喜の不祥事を残念に思うファンも多いはずだ。

===

Lax management must end

The association initially intended to just give warnings to those who voluntarily confessed their involvement in illegal gambling. However, the general public would certainly regard such a penalty as too mild. The panel's recommendations apparently are a red card against the JSA's lenient attitude.
 協会は当初、賭博への関与を自己申告した者には、厳重注意でとどめようとした。しかし、一般社会では、とても通用しない甘い対応だ。勧告内容は、そうした協会の認識に対するレッドカードだったといえる。

Whenever scandals occurred in the past, the JSA was often criticized for its lax crisis management. The closed-off nature of the association, which is run totally by former wrestlers, is likely responsible for its inability to cleanse itself.
 不祥事の度に、相撲協会の危機管理の甘さが指摘されてきた。大相撲出身者が協会の運営を取り仕切る閉鎖体質が、自浄能力の欠如につながっているのだろう。

The latest gambling scandal, which involves even stablemasters, makes it clear that the discipline of the professional sumo society cannot be maintained if this continues.
 親方までも関与していた野球賭博問題を通し、今のままでは角界の規律の維持は困難であることが明白になったといえる。

Two of JSA's 12 current directors now come from outside sumo, a change that stemmed from the deadly assault that occurred in the Tokitsukaze stable. The association's leadership has to be reformed through such drastic measures as further increasing the number of board directors from outside the sumo world.
 時津風部屋の暴行死事件の教訓から、相撲協会の12人の理事のうち、2人が外部のメンバーとなっている。この外部理事の数を大幅に増やすなど、執行体制の抜本改革が必要だ。

While Musashigawa is on probation, Hiroyoshi Murayama, a former head of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office who was invited to be a JSA board director, will likely be appointed acting chairman.
 理事長代行には、外部理事の村山弘義・元東京高検検事長が就く見通しだ。

Even if the Nagoya tournament is held as scheduled, some sumo fans may complain that they do not want to cheer for the wrestlers in the ring. Certain sponsors have decided not to provide prize money for the tournament.
 名古屋場所が開催されても、土俵に声援を送る気になれないというファンもいるだろう。懸賞金の提供中止を決めた企業もある。

Concrete measures to reform the association and reeducate wrestlers must be devised urgently to make the Nagoya tournament a chance to restore the honor of professional sumo.
 名古屋場所を大相撲再生のきっかけとするためには、協会の再建や力士教育の具体策作りを急がなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 29, 2010)
(2010年6月29日01時40分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-06-30 06:43 | 英字新聞

子ども手当 半額支給維持も容易ではない

discern ディサーム(発音注意) 感覚や理性で理解する
実際の発音は電子辞書で確認してください。
(スラチャイ記)

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 29, 2010)
No cash to spare for child allowances
子ども手当 半額支給維持も容易ではない(6月28日付・読売社説)

Child-rearing support measures require a balanced policy perspective and--more than anything else--fiscal resources to implement them.
 子育て支援は政策のバランスと、何より財源の裏付けが必要だ。

The Democratic Party of Japan has dropped its ballyhooed policy of paying in full a 26,000 yen monthly child allowance starting in fiscal 2011 from its campaign platform for the forthcoming House of Councillors election.
 民主党は参院選公約で子ども手当について、来年度から月2万6000円を支給するという「満額実施」の看板を取り下げた。

The DPJ started the allowance system by paying 13,000 yen a month, half the originally set figure. Now the party claims it will "provide an additional allowance while securing fiscal resources." The additional allowance, however, will "take the form of building more nurseries and providing free school lunches to replace cash handouts."
 半額でスタートした現行の月1万3000円に「財源を確保しつつ、上積みする」との表現にとどめている。上積み分も「保育所の拡充や給食の無料化など、現物サービスの充実策にも代えられるようにする」とした。

The DPJ will no longer pay the additional child allowance unless fiscal resources can be secured, and it will reexamine the priority it placed on cash handouts.
 財源がなければ上積みはせず、現金支給至上主義も見直す、ということだろう。

===

DPJ right to change tack

This country is in dire fiscal straits, as exemplified by the issuance of government bonds worth more than tax revenue. Under these conditions, the provision of the 26,000 yen child allowance, which would require 5.4 trillion yen a year, is out of the question. The DPJ was right to change tack.
 国債発行額が税収を上回る非常事態の財政下で、年5・4兆円を要する子ども手当の満額支給は論外だ。路線変更は当然である。

Social security budgets will increase by 1 trillion yen a year as our society ages. From next fiscal year, 2.5 trillion yen will be needed to pay for the portion of basic pension payments to be covered by the state. Given the serious fiscal conditions, it will not be easy to fund additional child allowances nor to maintain the current provision of half the promised amount.
 社会保障関連予算は、高齢化の進行により、毎年約1兆円ずつ膨らむ。来年度からは基礎年金の国庫負担引き上げに2・5兆円が必要になる。子ども手当は上積みどころか、半額支給の維持も容易でないのが財政の現状だ。

In its vision on children and child-rearing, the government set a goal of increasing the capacity of nurseries by 50,000 children a year over five years.
 政府は「子ども・子育てビジョン」で、保育所定員を年に5万人ペースで増やす、といった今後5年間の数値目標を掲げている。

It will cost 1.6 trillion yen to achieve this goal. Such an amount cannot be scrounged together simply by recasting the budget and cutting wasteful spending.
 今後は、ビジョンの実現に軸足を移すということだろう。しかしこれにも、1・6兆円の財源が必要だ。予算の組み替えや無駄の削減で捻出(ねんしゅつ)できる金額ではない。

===

Tax hike unavoidable

Unless the consumption tax rate is raised, it will be difficult to boost measures to help parents raise their children. The DPJ needs to recognize this fact. Then the party should redesign its child-rearing policy comprehensively by studying what level of child allowance would be appropriate, and how it could be provided. This should be done in tandem with discussions on the advisability of raising the consumption tax.
 消費税率を引き上げない限り、子育て支援を充実させることは難しい。民主党はその点をまず明確に認め、消費税の議論とセットで子ども手当の金額や支給方法、そして子育て施策全体の設計をやり直すべきだ。

Opposition parties also need to take such an approach. In its campaign platform for the July 11 election, the Liberal Democratic Party says it will "abolish nursery and kindergarten tuition fees." However, this would require at least 800 billion yen.
 この姿勢は、野党にも求められよう。自民党は昨年の総選挙に引き続き、「幼児の保育料と幼稚園費の無料化」を公約に掲げるが、少なくとも8000億円は必要な施策である。

The LDP campaign pledges include "increasing the consumption tax rate to 10 percent," and details how necessary fiscal resources could be found. But the LDP should unequivocally tell voters that a hike in the consumption tax is the main premise for implementing measures that will greatly improve the social security system.
 自民党は「消費税率10%」を公約に明記し、必要財源を担保してはいる。だが、社会保障の思い切った充実策を実行するには、まず消費税率の引き上げ実現が大前提であることをもっと強く、国民に訴えるべきだろう。

The British administration of Prime Minister David Cameron has put forth a policy of raising the value-added tax rate to 20 percent and freezing child-allowance payments for three years as it seeks to put Britain's fiscal house back in order.
 英キャメロン政権は財政再建のために、付加価値税率を20%に引き上げ、子ども手当を3年間凍結する方針を打ち出した。

Japan's fiscal conditions are tighter than Britain's. It is impossible to maintain the social security system without asking the public to shoulder an additional burden.
 日本の財政状況は英国以上に厳しい。負担増なしに社会保障制度を維持することは不可能だ。

Voters need to discern which party will discuss and tackle this matter squarely and seriously in the upper house election.
 それを真正面から有権者に語る政党はどこか、有権者は参院選で見極める必要があろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 28, 2010)
(2010年6月28日01時56分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-06-29 06:56 | 英字新聞

G8サミット 日本の存在感低下に歯止めを

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 28, 2010)
Japan must halt decline of diplomatic clout
G8サミット 日本の存在感低下に歯止めを(6月27日付・読売社説)

The summit meetings of the Group of Eight major powers and the Group of 20 major industrialized and emerging countries are taking place in Canada.
 カナダを舞台に、主要8か国(G8)と世界20か国・地域(G20)による首脳会議(サミット)が開かれている。

While it is noted that Japan's clout in the international community has been on the decline for several years, Prime Minister Naoto Kan's diplomatic competence is already being put to the test in his first trip abroad as prime minister.
 ここ数年、国際社会における日本の存在感の低下が指摘される中、菅首相は、初外遊で早くも外交手腕が試される。

Addressing the global economy, which is being rocked by Greece's debt crisis, leaders of the G-8 major powers affirmed during their meeting the importance of tackling fiscal reconstruction while securing growth.
 G8では、ギリシャ危機で揺れる世界経済について、成長を確保しながら、財政再建に取り組む重要性を確認した。

Kan explained and sought understanding for Japan's policy of increasing expenditures in the nursing and medical fields while pursuing economic growth and fiscal soundness.
 菅首相は、介護や医療分野への支出を手厚くし、成長と財政健全化の両立を目指す方針を説明し、理解を求めた。

After returning to Japan, Kan certainly will be pressed to give concrete form to measures, including the consumption tax rate hike, to reconstruct the country's economy and state finances.
 帰国後は、消費税率引き上げを含め、経済と財政の立て直し策の具体化に迫られよう。

The G-8 leaders also agreed Friday to pledge 5 billion dollars over the next five years to aid maternal and child health care in developing countries. Kan announced Japan would offer 500 million dollars in this sector.
 このほかG8首脳は、母子保健分野で、5年間に50億ドルの途上国支援を行うことで合意した。菅首相も5億ドルの拠出を表明した。

Japan possesses various types of know-how in providing medical assistance. The government should conduct finely tuned strategic aid diplomacy.
 日本は、医療援助では様々なノウハウを持つ。メリハリある戦略的な援助外交を展開すべきだ。

===

Stability vital to natl interests

In the political arena, the March sinking of a South Korean naval patrol ship was another focus of attention at the G-8.
 政治分野では、韓国哨戒艦の沈没事件が焦点となっている。

Maintaining peace and stability in areas surrounding Japan is directly linked to its national interests. To secure its say at the G-8 summit meetings and shepherd its assertions to reality, it is indispensable that Japan fulfill its role as a major power in the political and economic arenas.
 日本周辺の平和と安定の維持はわが国の国益に直結する。日本がG8で発言権を確保し、自らの主張を実現するためには、政治、経済両面で主要国としての役割を果たすことが欠かせない。

However, Japan's position in G-8 diplomacy has been extremely tenuous in recent years. Different prime ministers attended past G-8 summit meetings, with Shinzo Abe participating in 2007, Yasuo Fukuda in 2008 and Taro Aso last year.
 ところが、G8外交において、日本の立場は近年、極めて不安定だ。2007年のサミットには安倍、08年は福田、09年は麻生と、出席する首相が毎回異なった。

Every time the prime minister changes, the new premier has to rebuild relationships from scratch with his counterparts from each country. While summit diplomacy is becoming increasingly important, there is no way we can expect, under such circumstances, the prime minister to exercise leadership in diplomatic negotiations, such as with Russia over the northern territories dispute.
 首相が交代するたびに、各国首脳との関係を一から築き直さなければならない。首脳外交の重みが増す中、これでは、ロシアとの北方領土問題などの外交交渉で指導力を発揮することは望めない。

===

Kan must avoid Hatoyama rut

Kan's diplomatic competence is unknown, although as finance minister, he attended the meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of Seven major industrialized nations in February.
 菅首相は、財務相として先進7か国財務相・中央銀行総裁会議(G7)などに出席したものの、外交面の力量は未知数である。

Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama drove Japan-U.S. relations astray with his go-it-alone judgment and immature approach.
 鳩山前首相は、独りよがりの判断と未熟な手法で、日米関係を迷走させてしまった。

Kan said he would try to promote diplomacy based on pragmatism, but he needs to humbly give ear to the advice of his specialists to avoid following the same rut as his predecessor.
 菅首相は、「現実主義を基調とした外交」を心がけるというが、前任者の轍(てつ)を踏まぬように、専門スタッフの助言にも謙虚に耳を傾けることが必要だろう。

A problem besetting Japan's diplomacy is its declining budget for official development assistance, which has been an important card for years.
 日本外交で問題なのは、長年の重要なカードである政府開発援助(ODA)予算の減少だ。

The ODA this fiscal year dropped to nearly half the level of its peak in fiscal 1997. From its position at the top of world rankings for total assistance in 2000, Japan has remained in fifth place since 2007. Japan must stop its position from declining by boosting the assistance.
 今年度は、ピークの1997年度の半分近くに落ち込んだ。援助実績(支出純額)も、00年の世界1位から下落し、07年以降は5位にとどまっている。援助額を反転させ、日本の地位の低下に歯止めをかけなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 27, 2010)
(2010年6月27日01時24分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-06-28 07:09 | 英字新聞

W杯ベスト16 組織力生かしさらに上位を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 27, 2010)
Teamwork is Japan's World Cup weapon
W杯ベスト16 組織力生かしさらに上位を(6月26日付・読売社説)

Japan's national soccer team has qualified for the knockout phase of the greatest international event in its sport. We applaud the excellent performance of the team.
 世界最高峰の舞台で、ベスト16に駒を進めた。日本代表チームの奮闘に拍手を送りたい。

Defeating Denmark 3-1 in the first round of the soccer World Cup finals in South Africa, Japan has advanced to the top 16. This is our country's second time to qualify for the second round, following the 2002 World Cup finals jointly hosted by Japan and South Korea.
 サッカーのワールドカップ(W杯)南アフリカ大会で、日本はデンマークを3―1で下し、決勝トーナメントに進出した。2002年の日韓大会以来、2度目のベスト16である。

In the first half of the game with Denmark, Keisuke Honda and Yasuhito Endo each scored with superb free kicks. Shinji Okazaki also netted a decisive goal in the second half.
 前半に本田圭佑選手、遠藤保仁選手が見事なフリーキックを決めた。後半には、岡崎慎司選手のゴールで突き放した。

===

Players made us proud

Seeing the Japanese players throw everything into defending against the Danes' fierce attacks, we were impressed with the national team's display of never-say-die spirit. As coach Takeshi Okada said, "I'm proud of these wonderful players."
 デンマークの猛攻を体を張って防ぐ日本の選手たちからは、「ここで敗退するわけにはいかない」という気迫が伝わってきた。岡田武史監督は、「素晴らしい選手たちを誇りに思う」と語った。

The Danes' imposing physical stature and abilities seemed to put the Japanese at a disadvantage, but each player on the team fulfilled his particular role. Japan's victorious accession to the top 16 therefore should be attributed to its teamwork.
 体格、パワーでは劣っても、選手一人一人が、自らの役割を確実に果たした。組織力でつかみ取ったベスト16といえる。

Japan's next game is with Paraguay on Tuesday. It surely will be a tough match, but we hope the team will exert all its strength to achieve a place in the top eight for the first time in history.
 次戦は29日、相手は南米のパラグアイだ。厳しい戦いとなるだろうが、日本の持ち味を存分に発揮し、初めてのベスト8入りを達成してもらいたい。

Expectations for the Japan team were not so high before the current World Cup finals kicked off, but after it beat Cameroon in its first game, public interest suddenly soared.
 大会前、日本代表への期待は、さほど高くはなかった。だが、初戦でカメルーンに勝つと、関心が一気に高まった感がある。

The average rating for the live broadcast of the Denmark game from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. Friday was 30.5 percent of households with televisions in the Kanto region, with the highest rating reaching 41.3 percent. These are surprising figures given the early-morning time slot.
 デンマーク戦が中継された25日午前3~5時の関東地区の平均視聴率は30・5%、瞬間最高視聴率は41・3%に達した。時間帯を考えれば、驚くべき数値である。

The second round is a knockout phase--losing just one game will eliminate a team. The voltage of excitement among fans is therefore certain to be crackling at an even higher level.
 決勝トーナメントは、負ければ終わりという一発勝負だ。それだけに、応援のボルテージも一層、上がるに違いない。

===

Asian teams ascendant

South Korea also has qualified to play in the top-16 second round. Unless teams from Asia perform well, the number of spots for the region may be reduced in the next World Cup finals. In this sense, too, it is good news that both Japan and South Korea have advanced to the second round.
 韓国もベスト16に勝ち上がった。アジア勢が振るわなければ、次回大会のアジアの出場枠が減らされる懸念がある。その意味でも、日韓両国の決勝トーナメント進出は朗報といえるだろう。

Two unexpected developments were the exits of Italy and France, the champion and the runner-up, respectively, in the previous World Cup finals in 2006. Other leading European teams also have had tough games.
 意外だったのは、前回大会優勝のイタリア、準優勝のフランスがともに敗退したことだ。それ以外の欧州の強豪国も、苦戦を強いられている。

Many players on South American, African and Asian teams have played in the European leagues. These players improved their skills in Europe and now are threatening European teams in the World Cup.
 今大会に出場している南米やアフリカ、アジアの選手の多くが、普段は欧州のリーグでプレーしている。欧州で技を磨いた選手たちが、国別対抗のW杯では、欧州各国の難敵として立ちはだかっているというわけだ。

South American teams, such as Brazil and Argentina, have so far performed well. Having seen the excellent individual skills of players on these teams, which the Japan players lack, we are impressed with the differences in playing styles.
 ブラジルやアルゼンチンなど南米勢は好調だ。日本のサッカーにはない見事な個人技を見ると、サッカーのスタイルの違いを実感させられる。

With half of the 32 original teams eliminated, the best part of the World Cup finals now begins. We are even more excited to watch the fierce battles that will be fought to reach the world's top place.
 大会は折り返し点から佳境に入る。世界の頂点を目指すぶつかり合いが、ますます楽しみだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 26, 2010)
(2010年6月26日01時08分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-06-27 09:08 | 英字新聞

参院選公示 政治と経済立て直しの契機に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 26, 2010)
Election chance to put politics, economy in order
参院選公示 政治と経済立て直しの契機に(6月25日付・読売社説)

Many people must feel that this country's backbone is in danger of splintering.
 国の屋台骨が傾きかけている。そう感じる人は少なくないだろう。

The Democratic Party of Japan-led government, which replaced the coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito last autumn, has brought major confusion to the political arena, rather than ushering in a new era of politics.
 昨秋、政権交代を果たした民主党政権は、政治を変えるどころか大混乱を招いてきた。

The economy has been mired in deflation; glimmers of hope are few and far between.
 日本経済もデフレに足をとられ、なかなか明るい展望を見いだすことができない。

Official campaigning for the House of Councillors election kicked off after it was officially announced Thursday.  24日、参院選が公示された。

We hope each political party will present practical "prescriptions" that can cure the ills afflicting this nation, including policies that can get the economy back on its feet and diplomatic and security policies for restructuring the Japan-U.S. alliance.
 各政党は有権者の不安を払拭するためにも、景気を着実に回復させる経済政策や、日米同盟再構築に向けた外交・安保政策で明確な処方箋を示してもらいたい。

===

Weighing pledges
 ◆公約の真贋を見極めて◆

Nine political parties have selected candidates in the election. The July 11 poll has become a real scramble for votes. Voters should carefully examine each party's campaign pledges to determine whether they are realistic, and its candidates to see if they are trustworthy.
 選挙は、9政党が名乗りを上げ、混戦模様だ。有権者は、各党が掲げた公約や擁立した候補者が本物なのか、その真贋を、しっかり見極めてほしい。

Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama lost the confidence of the public after being tarred by a money and politics scandal. He also severely strained this country's relations with the United States over the relocation of the U.S. military's Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture. As a result, he was forced to step down just over eight months after he assumed the premiership. He was replaced by Naoto Kan.
 鳩山前首相は、「政治とカネ」の問題で国民の信頼を失い、米軍普天間飛行場移設問題では対米関係を大きく傷つけた。その結果、首相に就任してから8か月余りで退陣に追い込まれ、代わって菅首相が登場した。

The candidates should first discuss what the two DPJ-led cabinets achieved and how they handled the responsibility of being in government.
 今回の選挙でまず俎上にのせるべきは、民主党内閣の実績や政権運営のあり方だろう。

The DPJ has been forced to revise the child-allowance program that headlined its manifesto for last year's House of Representatives election. Payments only started this month, but the lack of a revenue source has made the allowance untenable. Despite this, the DPJ has made no attempt to review and reflect on this and its other dole-out measures.
 昨年の衆院選の政権公約(マニフェスト)でうたわれた子ども手当などは、財源不足から、早速見直しを迫られている。とはいえ、これらバラマキ政策については、何の総括もなされていない。

===

What's the difference?

The money scandals that tainted Hatoyama and former DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa remain far from resolved.
 鳩山前首相と民主党の小沢前幹事長の「政治とカネ」の問題も、解明には程遠い状態だ。

We wonder how--and whether--the Kan administration differs from the previous administration.
 菅政権は一体、前政権と何がどう違うのか。

The Hatoyama administration was characterized by populist policies, such as an array of dole-out measures and the manner in which budget screening was conducted; bureaucrat-bashing under the name of giving politicians a greater role in running the government; money-oriented politics fueled by huge sums of cash; undemocratic tactics to ensure there was no vocal objections to Ozawa's dictatorship in the party; pro-China leanings and keeping the United States at arm's length; and strong-arm Diet management by using the party's sheer weight of numbers.
 バラマキ政策や事業仕分けの手法にみられるポピュリズム(大衆迎合主義)、政治主導という名の官僚たたき、巨額の資金が動く金権政治、「小沢独裁」に沈黙した非民主的な党の体質、「親中国・米国離れ」志向、「数の力」を背景にした強引な国会運営――。

Kan was deputy prime minister and finance minister in the Hatoyama Cabinet. Can he truly break free from the nature of the former administration?
 菅首相は前内閣の副総理・財務相だった。前政権を特徴づけるこうした問題と決別したのか。

The DPJ should have sought a mandate from the people by dissolving the lower house for a general election. But because the DPJ avoided this option, it needs to fully explain these issues, otherwise voters will not be armed with enough facts to make an informed judgment on election day.
 本来なら民主党は、衆院解散・総選挙で信を問うべきだった。それを避けた以上、これらについて説明を尽くさなければ、有権者は判断のしようがあるまい。

The issue of raising the consumption tax rate will be a crucial test of the Kan administration's ability to deliver.
 消費税率引き上げ問題は、菅新政権の実行力の試金石だ。

Kan called for creation of a suprapartisan panel to discuss drastic tax reform--including the consumption tax--and hinted at raising the tax rate to 10 percent.
 菅首相は、消費税を含む税制の抜本改革に関する超党派の協議を呼びかけ、消費税率の「10%」への引き上げに言及した。

===

Debate sales tax
 ◆消費税論議を深めよ◆

Raising the consumption tax rate is an obvious step if one considers the nation's critical fiscal situation and ever-expanding social security costs. The LDP made the first move on raising the tax rate to 10 percent, the DPJ has followed. We applaud both parties for being responsible enough and having the stomach to squarely face this issue.
 国家財政の逼迫、社会保障予算の膨張を考えれば、引き上げは当然のことである。自民党が「10%」で先手をとり民主党が追いかけた形だが、引き上げを正面から論じようとする姿勢は、責任政党としていずれも評価できる。

Yet, the DPJ's policy flip-flop has been derided by some as an attempt to deflect attention from the previous administration's shortcomings.
 ただ、手のひらを返したような民主党の方針転換については、前政権の失政を隠すための「目眩まし」などと評されている。

Kan should carefully explain the reasons why raising the consumption tax rate is necessary and how the revenue will be used. He also should unveil a detailed plan for reforming the entire tax system.
 菅首相は、消費税率引き上げの理由と使途などを丁寧に説明し、合わせて税制全般の改革像を早急に提示しなければならない。

Political parties that have come out against raising the consumption tax rate need to show realistic alternatives for the sake of deepening tax system debate.
 消費税率上げに反対を表明している政党は、税制論議を深める上でも、現実的な「対案」を示す必要がある。

The framework of the DPJ-People's New Party coalition government may need to be redesigned depending on how the parties fare in the election. This could be a golden chance for political realignment.
 今回の参院選の勝敗は、民主、国民新両党の連立政権の枠組みに変更をもたらし、政界再編の契機になる可能性もある。

A handful of new parties that proclaim themselves to be a "third force" behind the DPJ and LDP have fielded many candidates. Their campaigns could affect the election success of the two major parties.
 民主、自民の2大政党の間で「第3極」を掲げる新党は、多数の候補者を擁立した。その戦いぶりは2大政党の戦績に影響を与えずにはおかないだろう。

The question on many observers' lips is whether the DPJ can snatch a majority in the upper house, which, when combined with its absolute majority in the lower house, would bring about a single party government.
 民主党は、衆院に加えて参院でも、非改選を含めて過半数を制し、単独政権を手中にできるか。

If the DPJ falls short of this goal, the next focus will be on whether it can secure a majority in a coalition with the PNP. If the two parties lack the seats for a majority, the DPJ might have to hop into bed with some of the "third force" parties.
 それが果たせない場合は、連立与党で過半数を確保できるかどうかが焦点だ。仮に、過半数割れになれば、「第3極」政党の一部などとの連携もありえよう。

The LDP has made no secret of its target of preventing the ruling parties from gaining a majority in the upper house. It apparently intends to put a brake on DPJ-led politics by bringing about a "divided Diet" in which both chambers are controlled by different political forces.
 自民党は、与党の過半数阻止を目標にあげている。衆参両院で多数派が異なる「ねじれ国会」として、民主党主導の政治にブレーキをかける狙いがあるのだろう。

What kind of administration does this nation need? Each voter should cast their ballot with this question firmly in mind.
 どんな「政権のかたち」が望ましいのか。有権者は、そうしたことも念頭に置いて、1票を行使することが求められる。

===

Ideal upper house functions
 ◆参院のあり方も課題だ◆

The upper house, once dubbed the "chamber of wisdom," has long been ridiculed as the "chamber of political maneuvers."
 参院が「良識の府」でなく「政局の府」と言われて久しい。

The DPJ wanted to go into the election while the Kan Cabinet rides high in public support polls and closed the Diet session without extending it. An upper house plenary session to vote on an opposition-sponsored motion to censure the prime minister was not held. Such actions besmirch the upper chamber's once lofty image of being a home to "wisdom."
 民主党は、菅内閣の支持率が高いうちの参院選を望み、早々に国会を閉じた。参院では野党提出の首相問責決議案の採決をしなかった。これでは「良識」が泣く。

The DPJ, which became the largest party in the upper chamber following the previous upper house election, shot down bills and personnel assignment plans submitted by the then LDP-New Komeito coalition government to rattle the administration and threw the political situation into chaos.
 前回参院選で第1党になった民主党は、参院で政府提出法案や人事案を否決して、当時の自民、公明連立政権を揺さぶり、政治を混乱に陥れたこともある。

Some observers believe the authority of the House of Councillors, which has become too powerful, should be reined in. We urge each party to debate how an ideal upper house should function.
 参院が政局の行方を左右するようなことがないよう、第二院としては強すぎる権限を見直した方がいいとの意見もある。各政党は参院の在り方も論じ合うべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 25, 2010)
(2010年6月25日01時22分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-06-26 08:28 | 英字新聞

所得税論議 最高税率引き上げは問題多い

昔からこの構図は変りません。
年収1000万円以上の所得者による納税額の全体の納税額に対する割合(金額ベース)は極めて高かったのです。
早期退職を決断したひとつの原因でもあります。
国が危機的な状態にある現在、累進課税の強化、課税最低限度額の引き下げ、両面から進めなければこの危機を脱出することはできないでしょう。
新聞社は高額所得者の利権を守るための教宣をやめて欲しい。
利害がからむ複雑な問題です。
当事者にならないと痛みは理解できないでしょう。

srachai from khonkaen, thailand

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 25, 2010)
Don't be hasty to raise top income tax rate
所得税論議 最高税率引き上げは問題多い(6月24日付・読売社説)

An expert panel of the government's Tax Commission has drawn up a list of points of contention on tax system reform in an interim report it submitted to the commission.
 政府税制調査会の専門家委員会が論点整理の形で、税制改革の方向性を打ち出した。

With the nation's perilous fiscal situation in mind, the panel spelled out the importance of harnessing consumption tax as a stable revenue source to cover rising social security costs.
 危機的な財政事情を念頭に、社会保障の安定財源として消費税の重要性を強調している。

We think this is a reasonable suggestion.
極めて妥当な指摘だ。

However, we take issue with the panel's emphasis on reinforcing the progressive structure as part of this country's income tax system reform. Under the structure, an increase in individuals' income will catapult them into higher tax brackets.
 反面、所得税改革に関し、所得が増えるほど税率が高くなる累進構造の強化に力点を置いているのは問題だ。

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has spoken publicly about the need to hike the consumption tax rate in the future. Kan seems to be trying to convince the public of the worthiness of taxing high-income earners more since a consumption tax hike would increase the financial burden shouldered by Joe Blow.
 菅首相が言及する将来の消費税率引き上げでは、一般国民の負担が増すため、高所得層への所得課税強化で、一定の理解を得ようとする狙いが読み取れる。

===

Missing the point

Indeed, some observers have pointed out that the consumption tax is regressive, which means the burden is relatively higher for low-income earners.
 確かに消費税には、低所得層ほど税負担が相対的に高まる「逆進性」が指摘されている。

But that does not mean progressive tax rates for income tax should be raised. The panel is completely missing the point.
 だからと言って、累進税率の強化につなげて考えるのは筋違いだ。

Consumption tax should be made less regressive by, for instance, reducing the tax rate on daily necessities.
消費税の逆進性の解消は、生活必需品への軽減税率導入などで対応すべき問題である。

Income tax revenue for fiscal 2009 is expected to dip below 13 trillion yen for the first time in 27 years, about half of the peak figure.
 所得税は、2009年度の税収が27年ぶりに13兆円を割り込み、ピーク時のほぼ半分になる。

Currently, the burden rate of income taxation for individuals in Japan against national income is about 7 percent. The rate is 10 percent or higher in the United States and major European countries. It is a fact that income tax's role as the nation's core taxation has been eroded.
 国民所得と対比した日本の個人所得課税の負担率は7%にとどまる。10%以上の欧米を下回り、基幹税としての役割が低下しているのは事実である。

However, even if the progressive tax structure is fortified, the number of high-income earners who will pay the higher tax rates will not change. Therefore, any increase in income tax revenue growth will be marginal as a proportion of the nation's entire tax revenue.
 しかし、累進構造を強めたとしても、負担する高所得層の数は限られるため、国の税収全体から見て、増収分はわずかなものだ。

The maximum tax rate imposed on individual income--through a combination of income tax and resident tax--was 88 percent in the 1980s.
 所得税と住民税を合わせた個人所得課税の最高税率は、1980年代には88%に達していた。

Many people complained they lost their motivation to work because of this high rate. In response, the government cut the maximum rate to keep pace with tax system reform implemented in the United States and Britain.
 「こんなに税金が高いと働く意欲がなくなる」。そんな声に押されて、米国や英国の税制改革に歩調を合わせるように日本でも最高税率が引き下げられた。

The highest tax rate for income tax, with national and regional taxes combined, is now 50 percent. However, it still tops the 47.6 percent for New York City and 48 percent in France.
 現在は50%だが、それでも米ニューヨーク市の47・6%、フランスの48%などを上回っている。

===

Lower taxable income level

We think the government should instead be cutting the lowest taxable income threshold for individuals.
 むしろ、今考えるべきは、課税最低限の引き下げだ。

Japan's lowest taxable annual income is about 3.25 million yen for a standard household consisting of a married couple with two children. This is quite high by international standards. Many people end up not having to pay tax.
日本の課税最低限は標準世帯で年収約325万円である。国際水準に比べてかなり高く、それだけ多くの人が税金を納めていないことになる。

If tax deductions are cut back, the lowest taxable income can also be reduced. Consequently, more income earners will be asked to pay more tax. This is inevitable if we consider a basic tenet of taxation--a wide proportion of the nation's people should bear the burden thinly.
 各種の控除を縮小すれば最低限が下がり、より幅広い層に税負担を求めることになるが、国民が広く薄く負担するという税の原点からみてやむを得まい。

The expert panel said fortifying the progressive structure of income taxation was important because the tax system's income redistribution function has been crippled, generating widening disparities among the people.
 専門家委員会は、累進構造を強化する理由として、税の所得再分配機能が衰え格差の拡大を招いたこともあげている。

However, going too far in progressive taxation would be nothing but a prime example of the Democratic Party of Japan-led government's populist agenda. Before thinking about income redistribution, improving social security measures such as pension, medical care and nursing care programs should come first.
 だが、行き過ぎた累進強化は大衆迎合路線そのものだ。所得再分配を考えるなら、年金や医療、介護といった社会保障政策の充実が先決である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 24, 2010)
(2010年6月24日01時07分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-06-25 07:21 | 英字新聞

風知草:現実主義とは何か=山田孝男

(Mainichi Japan) June 23, 2010
Taking a deeper look at Kan's realism
風知草:現実主義とは何か=山田孝男

Prime Minister Naoto Kan's naming of his new Cabinet as the "Kihei-tai Cabinet" (Irregular Militia Cabinet) still doesn't sit right.
 「奇兵隊内閣」という命名、いまだ釈然としない。

The Kiheitai was a militia formed in the Choshu domain (present day Yamaguchi Prefecture) toward the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate, standing in opposition to the shogunate.
奇兵隊は幕末史に登場する長州(山口県)の討幕ゲリラだが、知らない人の方が多いだろう。

Many people have probably never heard of this militia, and the meaning of "Kihei-tai" in reference to Kan's Cabinet doesn't come across clearly -- to the man on the street, its significance is lost.
 意味が伝わらない。民衆に届かない。半端なキャッチフレーズに菅直人首相の準備不足と迷いが表れている。

The adoption of such an odd name is a reflection of the prime minister's lack of preparation and direction. By referring to his Cabinet as a "Kihei-tai," does Kan plan to keep up with the idea of destroying the system?
 奇兵隊を名乗るからには、これからも体制の破壊を続けるつもりなのか?--。

In a question directed at Kan on June 15, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker Yoshimasa Hayashi, who is from Yamaguchi Prefecture, asked, "Are you a destroyer or a creator?" to which Kan replied, "Both."
菅を問い詰めたのは山口県選出の自民党参院議員、林芳正である。15日の代表質問で「あなたは破壊者か、創造者か」と攻め、菅は「両方だ」と答えた。

During the question session, Hayashi made reference to the historical work "Yoshida Shoin," by the great pre-war journalist Soho Tokutomi, explaining, "For a revolution, three types of people are needed: thinkers, destroyers and creators."
 林は質問のなかで、戦前の大ジャーナリスト・徳富蘇峰の史論「吉田松陰」を引き、「革命には思想家、破壊者、創造者という3種類の人間が必要だ」と解説してみせた。

Looking at Soho's original work, we see that the "creator" is a "constructive revolutionary." In giving an example, the journalist listed Cromwell, Napoleon, and Toshimichi Okubo, and noted that the reason they were successful in the final phase of their revolutions was that they were people who looked beyond ideals to the actual situation.
 蘇峰の原著を見ると、「創造者」は「建設的革命家」となっている。例として蘇峰はクロムウェル、ナポレオン、大久保利通らを挙げ、彼らが革命の最終局面で活躍するのは、「理想の外に実際を見」る人々だからだと言っている。

Looking beyond ideals to the actual situation probably means being a realist with a well-balanced feel for the situation.
 理想の外に実際を見る、とはバランス感覚に富むリアリストということだろう。

Kan is a realist, which both the prime minister himself and others acknowledge. Amid the upheaval brought about by political realignment, he has chosen, as a party leader, to place priority on survival. His dry yet flexible approach that is not necessarily bound by ideals, duty or obligations comprises the basis of others' assessments of Kan's character.
 菅は自他ともに認めるリアリストである。政界再編の激動のなかで、政党の指導者としてサバイバルを優先してきた。必ずしも理念や義理人情に縛られないドライな柔軟さが人物評の根拠になっている。

This approach is evident in his relationship with labor unions. Kan comes from a background of citizen campaigning, and during his time in the Socialist Democratic Federation and New Party Sakigake, he was consistently critical of politics that relied on labor unions. However, that changed when he formed the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and teamed up with lawmakers from the former Social Democratic Party and Democratic Socialist Party. He placed priority on solidifying his base of support and started making an effort to cooperate with labor unions.
 早い話が労働組合との関係だ。菅は市民運動出身であり、社民連、さきがけ時代を通じて労組依存の政治に批判的だった。それが、民主党を結成し、旧社会党系、旧民社党系の議員と合流して変わった。支持基盤の維持を優先し、労組との協調に努めるようになった。

Kan's approach when it comes to former DPJ Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa is even drier. The two didn't get on well to begin with, and Kan didn't hesitate to criticize Ozawa. But in the autumn of 2003, as leader of the DPJ, Kan decided to merge his party with the Liberal Party led by Ozawa. After that, he was cautious not to quickly join in criticism of Ozawa that was smoldering within the DPJ, and solidified his chances of succeeding former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
 小沢一郎前幹事長との関係はさらにドライだ。もともと肌が合わず、小沢批判をためらわなかった。ところが03年秋、民主党代表として小沢自由党との合併を決断。以後、党内にくすぶった小沢批判にも簡単には乗らぬ慎重さで「ポスト鳩山」の地位を固めた。

Kan's realism has also been displayed in his policies. In the book "90 Nendai no Shogen/Kan Naoto" (Testimonies of the 1990s -- Naoto Kan), published by Asahi Shimbun Publications in 2008, reference is made to Seiji Maehara, a particularly hawkish figure in the field of diplomacy within the DPJ. Kan is asked, "You're not as much of a realist as Maehara in diplomacy are you?" to which he responds, "Well actually, from my point of view, Maehara is more fundamentalist than pragmatic. I'm much more of a realist."
 菅の現実主義は政策面にも表れている。前原誠司(国土交通相)といえば民主党きっての外交タカ派だが、菅は「外交では前原さんほど現実主義的ではないでしょう」と聞かれ、こう答えたことがある。
 「いや、私に言わせれば前原君は現実的というより原理主義的です。私なんかの方がよっぽど現実主義的なんです」(「90年代の証言/菅直人」08年朝日新聞出版)

In his policy speech at the Diet and during a party leaders' question session, Kan stressed that he would deepen the Japan-U.S. alliance, and the policy of an "equal Japan-U.S. alliance" promoted by Hatoyama's administration vanished.
 国会の所信表明演説と代表質問を通じて菅は「日米同盟の深化」を訴え、鳩山政権の「対等な日米同盟」は消えた。

Kan also suggested raising the consumption tax to 10 percent, "using an LDP proposal as a reference" -- in other words a policy no different from that of the LDP.
消費税は「自民党案を参考に」10%にするという。要するに自民党と変わらない。

I would like to laud this as the behavior of a realist, but when we've come this far the question arises: What exactly is realism?
 さすがはリアリストだと言いたいが、ここまでくると、現実主義とは何かという疑問がせり上がってくる。

The "Kojien" dictionary's definition of "realism" (genjitsu-shugi) translates as follows: "the attitude of handling affairs based on reality without adhering to a doctrine or ideals. There are times when the attitude of yielding to an established fact before one's eyes or opportunism has the same meaning."
 広辞苑で「現実主義」を引くと、こう書いてある。「主義や理想にこだわらず現実に即して事を処理する態度。目前の既成事実に屈服する態度や日和見主義と同じ意味になる場合がある」。なるほど。

So what is Kan's realism? Is it realism on the same scale as that used during the early years of the Meiji Period by Toshimichi Okubo, who observed the U.S. and Europe and decided to focus on internal affairs? Or is it the realism of the art of survival by the Kihei-tai of Japan's political center of Nagatacho -- suppressing Ozawa's group within the party for the time being and beating the LDP? That's the issue at stake. (By Takao Yamada, Expert Senior Writer)
 菅の現実主義とは何か。明治初年、大久保利通が米欧を見て内治優先を決断したというようなスケールでの現実主義なのか。当面、小沢グループを抑え込み、自民党をやっつけようという永田町奇兵隊のサバイバル戦術としての現実主義なのか。そこが問題だ。(敬称略)(毎週月曜日掲載)

毎日新聞 2010年6月21日 東京朝刊
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-06-24 06:59 | 英字新聞

イルカ漁映画 問題あっても妨害は許されぬ

Freedom of speech and expression are the foundation of a democratic society. The obstruction of BBS postings by an administrator, through deleting some postings cannot be allowed.
 言論・表現の自由は、民主主義社会の基本だ。BBS管理者による投稿の削除などでBBSの閲覧を妨害することは許されない。
Whatever the content of the postings, the free expression that is a BBS should be respected as much as possible, as long as a postings are not offensive to public order and morality.
 ただし、内容がどのようなものであれ、公序良俗に反しない限りBBSでの投稿という表現の自由は、最大限尊重されなければならない。

タイのバンコク週報への投稿や個人が運営しているBBSへの投稿で苦い経験をさせられています。

(スラチャイ)

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 23, 2010)
Don't block a movie for being problematic
イルカ漁映画 問題あっても妨害は許されぬ(6月22日付・読売社説)

Freedom of speech and expression are the foundation of a democratic society. The obstruction of the screening of a movie, through intimidating protests or other means, cannot be allowed.
 言論・表現の自由は、民主主義社会の基本だ。威圧的な抗議活動などで映画の上映を妨害することは許されない。

Some showings in this country of "The Cove," a critical portrayal of the dolphin fishing of Taijicho, Wakayama Prefecture, have been canceled. Three theaters in Tokyo and Osaka that had been scheduled to show the film announced in early June they would not.
 和歌山県太地町のイルカ漁を批判的に描いた米国のドキュメンタリー映画「ザ・コーヴ」の国内上映が、一部で中止に追い込まれた問題である。

They did so because an organization that believes the movie is anti-Japan warned the theaters it would take such actions as holding street protests using loudspeakers.
 上映を予定していた東京、大阪の3館が今月初めに、相次いで断念を発表した。

The organization did make repeated protests in front of the home of the president of the movie's domestic distributor, and in front of the distributor's office, provoking turmoil.
 映画の内容が反日的だと批判する団体が、映画館に街宣活動を行うなどと予告したためだ。映画の配給元の社長宅や事務所に対しては、実際に抗議活動が繰り返され、混乱を引き起こしていた。

The operators of the theaters apparently feared that showing the film would cause trouble for audiences and people living nearby.
 映画館は、観客や近隣に迷惑がかかることを懸念したようだ。

===

Don't give in to intimidation

In contrast, 22 other movie theaters throughout the country have decided to show "The Cove," some starting July 3. The distributor and these movie theaters have demonstrated their resolve not to yield to foul intimidation.
 一方で、3館と別の全国22の映画館で、来月3日からこの映画が順次、上映されることが決まった。卑劣な威嚇には屈しないという、配給元や映画館の強い姿勢を示したと言えよう。

The people of this nation can help protect the right to free and varied speech by supporting this brave action. We hope the police will do everything they can to ensure security, to prevent any trouble caused by efforts at obstruction.
 こうした勇気を国民が支持することによって、自由で多様な言論は守られる。妨害による不測の事態が起きないよう、警察も警備に万全を期してほしい。

Made by members of a radical U.S. environmental protection group that visited Taijicho, "The Cove" won best documentary feature at this year's Academy Awards.
However, the filmmakers shot some footage by trespassing into an off-limits area without the permission of the town's fisheries organization.
 この映画は、米国の過激な環境保護団体のメンバーが、太地町を訪ねて製作した。今年の米アカデミー賞の長編ドキュメンタリー賞を受賞したが、太地町の漁業関係者の許可を得ないまま、禁止区域に入っての撮影も行われた。

The movie includes a scene in which dolphins driven by fishermen into the town's cove are killed, and the sea becomes red with the dolphins' blood. At another point, fishermen and the movie's crew argue about the filming.
 入り江に追い込まれたイルカが殺され、海が血で真っ赤に染まるシーンや、漁業関係者と映画のスタッフが、撮影を巡って押し問答する場面などが描かれている。

The town's government and fisheries organization asked the distributor to cancel the movie's release because it may infringe on the image rights of the fishermen filmed. They also say it presents incorrect information regarding the concentration of mercury reportedly found in dolphin meat.
 町や漁業関係者は、肖像権侵害の恐れがあり、イルカ肉から検出されたという水銀値などについての説明にも誤認があるとして、配給会社に上映中止を求めた。

===

Freedom of expression key

In response, the Japanese distributor agreed to make some modifications, such as obscuring the faces of people in the dolphin fishing industry. However, there is no way to conceal the surreptitious filming. It may be true that some of the filmmakers' methods were problematic.
 これに対し配給会社は、映った漁業関係者の顔にぼかしを入れるなど、修整には応じたが、盗撮は隠しようもなく、手法に問題があったのは事実だろう。

But whatever the content of the documentary, the free expression that is a movie should be respected as much as possible, as long as a film is not offensive to public order and morality.
 ただし、内容がどのようなものであれ、公序良俗に反しない限り映画という表現の自由は、最大限尊重されなければならない。

If the content of the movie is problematic, people should first see it at a theater and then criticize it.
 内容に問題があるというなら、上映された作品を見て、それから批判すべきであろう。

Two years ago, the domestic release of a Japanese-Chinese documentary made by a Chinese director about Yasukuni Shrine was canceled due to various problems, including street loudspeaker campaigns conducted by rightest organizations.
 2年前には、靖国神社をテーマにした中国人監督による日中合作のドキュメンタリー映画が、右翼団体による街宣活動などで、上映中止になったケースがある。

It is quite regrettable that similar incidents are happening again.
 こうしたことが繰り返されるのは、極めて残念だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 22, 2010)
(2010年6月22日01時23分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-06-23 05:58 | 英字新聞

成長戦略決定 「絵空事」に終わらせるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 22, 2010)
Growth strategy needs more substance
成長戦略決定 「絵空事」に終わらせるな(6月21日付・読売社説)

The government has drawn up its new growth strategy. However, uncertainties remain over whether this strategy can achieve the anticipated economic growth by effectively tapping the vigor of private businesses.
 民間企業の活力をうまく引き出して、期待通りの経済成長を実現できるかどうか、未知数の部分も多い。

The strategy is aimed at galvanizing seven fields, such as environment/energy and health, while accelerating moves to help the economy break free from deflation. It contains 21 measures for promoting what have been touted as national strategy projects to establish a strong economy.
 政府が決定した新成長戦略は、デフレからの脱却を急ぎつつ、環境・エネルギーや健康など戦略7分野をテコ入れする。国家戦略プロジェクトと銘打った21の施策を進めて、「強い経済」の実現を図るという。

Implementing these measures, the government calculates, will create more than 120 trillion yen in new demand and about 5 million jobs. This would generate average yearly economic growth of more than 2 percent in real terms and more than 3 percent in nominal terms in the decade to come.
 その結果、120兆円を超える新規需要と、約500万人の雇用が生まれ、今後10年の経済成長率は、実質で平均2%超、名目では3%超になると見込んでいる。

The strategy contains some measures likely to be effective. But there is a question over whether it can bring about the sort of drastic impact the government is banking on. The government should prioritize the measures and enhance their efficacy.
 有効と思われる内容もあるが、果たしてこれほど劇的な効果が上がるかどうかは疑問だ。施策の重点化など、さらに実効性を高める工夫が求められよう。

Many of the measures are intended to back up corporate activity and boost the vigor of the private sector.
 成長戦略には、企業活動を後押しして、民間活力を高める施策が多く盛り込まれた。

===

Boost corporate activity

One pillar of the strategy is to lower the effective corporate tax rate gradually from the current 40 percent or so to 30 percent or about 25 percent--the same level as in many other industrialized nations. This will reinforce the international competitiveness of Japanese firms.
 約40%の法人税実効税率を、30%から20%台半ばにあたる「主要国並み」まで、段階的に引き下げるとした。日本企業の競争力強化に役立つだろう。

The strategy calls for establishing a special committee representing both the private and public sectors to promote sales of social infrastructure projects in Asia, such as the construction of nuclear power plants and Shinkansen bullet train networks. If successful, the plan will bring in orders for huge infrastructure projects in the region.
 アジアへ原子力発電所や新幹線など社会基盤(インフラ)を積極的に売り込むため、官民共同で専門委員会を設ける構想もある。うまくいけば、巨額のインフラ投資の受注が期待できる。

However, the strategy is not without shortcomings. The practicality of some measures is debatable, such as the project to build an environmentally friendly futuristic city. Since the strategy is making plans for 10 years from now, it contains many rough and vague plans. These plans must be fleshed out in the years to come.
 一方で、環境未来都市の整備など、実現できるかどうか疑問符のつくメニューも並んだ。10年先を目指した戦略だけに、内容が大ざっぱで、雲をつかむような構想もある。今後、肉付けが必要だ。

There are concerns about whether measures to revive forests and forestry will include simple handouts. We want the government to reexamine whether these measures are suitable for inclusion in its growth strategy.
 「森林・林業再生プラン」などは、ばらまき的な施策が紛れ込まないか心配だ。成長戦略として適切かどうか再点検してほしい。

===

Devil's in the (lack of) details

An overall problem is that the strategy lacked precise figures for the fiscal spending and costs that will be needed to carry out the measures, although it projected concrete figures--such as the demand that will be created--for the fruit of the measures.
 全体の問題として、需要創出など効果の数字は出したのに、必要な財政支出などコストを示していない点を指摘しておきたい。

Unless details are spelled out about how to fund these projects at a time when the state finances are in dire straits, none of the plans will get off the ground. A close eye will need to be kept on whether each measure has an effect commensurate with its cost.
 厳しい財政の中、費用をどう工面するのか詰めないと、せっかくのプランも絵空事になる。コストの割に成果が乏しくないかなど、監視の継続も重要である。

Another matter of concern is the lack of clarity on how the measures will be carried out. Previous strategies were beset by failures due to conflicts of authority between government ministries involved in the projects. It is necessary to speed up efforts to establish a system that can promote several measures comprehensively and simultaneously.
 実施体制のあいまいさも気がかりだ。過去の成長戦略は、府省の権限争いなどで失敗続きだった。複数の政策を総合的に推進する体制の整備を急がねばならない。

The Democratic Party of Japan-led government calls for banning in principle the dispatch of temporary workers to the manufacturing industry and reducing greenhouse gases by 25 percent--measures that could adversely affect corporate activity. These steps do not wash with its new growth strategy designed to help businesses.
 成長戦略の一方で、民主党政権が製造業派遣の原則禁止や、温室効果ガスの25%削減など、企業活動にマイナスになる政策を続けるのは整合性を欠いている。

The government should drop its adherence to its campaign pledges for last year's general election and instead devote itself to reviving the economy before all else.
 マニフェスト(政権公約)へのこだわりを捨て、経済優先の姿勢に徹するべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 21, 2010)
(2010年6月21日01時41分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-06-22 07:49 | 英字新聞

消費税公約 引き上げを国民に堂々訴えよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 21, 2010)
Parties must stress need for consumption tax hike
消費税公約 引き上げを国民に堂々訴えよ(6月20日付・読売社説)

Ahead of the official announcement of the House of Councillors election on Thursday, the Democratic Party of Japan and Liberal Democratic Party recently hammered out drastic tax reform proposals, including raising the consumption tax rate.
 今月24日公示の参院選に向け、民主、自民両党が消費税率の引き上げを含む税制の抜本改革を打ち出した。

It is the wish of many people to rehabilitate this country's state finances, the worst among leading industrialized nations, and make the social security system sustainable. To this end, a consumption tax hike is obviously unavoidable.
 先進国で最悪の財政状況を立て直し、社会保障制度を持続可能なものにすることが、多くの国民の願いだろう。それには、消費税率引き上げが避けて通れないことは明らかだ。

It is the responsibility of politicians to try to convince the public of the need for a tax increase, even if it is painful. We hope to see the matter actively debated during the upcoming upper house election campaign.
 国民に痛みを伴う増税であっても、必要性を堂々と訴えることが政治の責任である。選挙戦での活発な論争を期待したい。

 ◆選挙戦術では困る◆
At a press conference during which Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced the DPJ's campaign pledges, he referred to the consumption tax and said he would try to come up with an appropriate tax rate and tax reform proposals within the current fiscal year.
 菅首相は参院選公約を発表した記者会見で、消費税について「2010年度内にあるべき税率や改革案の取りまとめを目指したい」と語った。

As for the consumption tax rate, Kan also said that he would use as reference the main opposition LDP's proposal of raising it to 10 percent from the current 5 percent. Kan's comment is a significant change from former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's policy of making the issue of a consumption tax hike a no-go area.
 税率は、自民党が提案している10%への引き上げを参考にする考えを表明した。消費税の増税を封印してきた鳩山前首相の方針を、大きく転換するものだ。

The consumption tax rate, which was introduced in 1989 at 3 percent, was raised to 5 percent in 1997. Since then, past administrations have not squarely addressed the consumption tax issue. Kan should be praised for announcing a policy of raising the consumption tax rate this time.
 1989年に3%で導入された消費税は、97年に5%に引き上げられた。以来、歴代政権は消費税問題に正面から取り組んでこなかった。今回、菅首相が税率引き上げの方針を示したことは、評価してよい。

At the press conference, Kan also expressed his intention to seek the people's mandate on the issue in the House of Representatives election before implementing a tax increase. However, an ideal opportunity could be lost if Kan takes things slowly.
 ただ、首相は記者会見で、増税前に衆院選で信を問う意向も示した。こんな悠長な構えでは、せっかくの機運が失われかねない。

===

DPJ talk political posturing

Some DPJ members have said that if the DPJ proposes raising the consumption tax rate to 10 percent as the LDP has done, the issue would not be a point of contention in the upper house election. This is, however, nothing but conventional election posturing.
 民主党には、「税率を自民党の主張と同じ10%にすれば参院選の争点にはならない」との思惑もあるという。これでは、従来型の選挙戦術と同じだ。

Kan's policy was met by a backlash within the DPJ. He should speed up intraparty discussions and establish his party's basic policy on the issue.
 首相の方針に対しては党内から反発も出ている。首相は党内論議を急ぎ、党としての基本的な考え方を固めるべきだ。

 ◆財政再建は待ったなし◆
The nation's debt-laden finances are in a critical situation due to the Hatoyama administration's dole-out policies that stuck to the DPJ's manifesto for the lower house election last summer, in addition to lavish economic stimulus measures after the bursting of the economic bubble.
 バブル崩壊後の景気対策の大盤振る舞いに、鳩山政権の衆院選の政権公約(マニフェスト)にこだわったバラマキ政策が加わり、わが国の財政は「借金漬け」の危機的な状況に陥っている。

It is estimated that cumulative long-term debts at the central and local governments will rise to 860 trillion yen as of the end of the current fiscal year--1.8 times the country's gross domestic product.
 国と地方の長期債務残高は、今年度末に860兆円と国内総生産(GDP)の1・8倍に膨らむ見込みだ。

The fiscal 2010 budget is abnormal, with tax revenues falling to about 37 trillion yen, lower than the new government bond issuance, which has swollen to 44 trillion yen.
 10年度予算は、税収が37兆円余りに落ち込み、44兆円に膨らんだ新規国債発行額を下回る異常な事態である。

Due to the country's graying population, social security costs, which currently total more than 20 trillion yen a year, will increase by 1 trillion yen every year.
 高齢化の進展で年間20兆円超の社会保障費は、毎年1兆円ずつ自然に増える。

In fiscal 2009, the government's share of contributions to the basic pension payments was raised to 50 percent from one-third. However, increased contributions are provisionally funded by surplus funds in special accounts, dubbed "buried treasure," and a permanent revenue source of 2.5 trillion yen will be necessary in fiscal 2011 and thereafter.
 09年度から基礎年金の国庫負担割合を2分の1に引き上げたが、これは、いわゆる埋蔵金で暫定的に賄っており、11年度以降、新たに2・5兆円という恒久財源も必要となる。

"Integrated economic, fiscal and social security reforms," as touted by the Kan Cabinet, can only be achieved with stable revenue sources.
 菅内閣が掲げる「経済・財政・社会保障の一体改革」を成し遂げるには、安定した財源があってこそである。

However, the income and corporate taxes that have been an important source of government revenues have substantially decreased due to the prolonged recession and a series of tax breaks. Therefore, the last resort is raising the consumption tax, a revenue source that does not fluctuate significantly due to changes in economic conditions and that spreads the burden widely among the public.
 だが、国の税収を支えてきた所得税や法人税は、長期不況や度重なる減税措置で大幅に減少している。頼みの綱は、景気による変動が少なく、国民が広く負担を分け合える消費税しかない。

The country's 5 percent consumption tax is exceptionally low compared with 25 percent in Nordic countries, 16 percent to 20 percent in Spain, Britain and Italy, and 10 percent in South Korea.
 世界的に見ても、25%の北欧諸国を筆頭に16~20%のスペイン、英国、イタリア、10%の韓国などと比べ、日本の消費税率5%は例外的に低い水準だ。

Sixty-six percent of the respondents to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey conducted earlier this month said it is necessary to raise the consumption tax rate, greatly surpassing the 29 percent who said it is unnecessary. Many people lean toward the opinion that a consumption tax hike is unavoidable.
 読売新聞が6月に実施した世論調査では、消費税率の引き上げが必要と答えたのは66%で、必要ないとした29%を大きく上回った。国民の多くは、消費税の増税やむなしとの考えに傾いている。

===

Where to spend revenue
 ◆低所得者対策が必要だ◆

Bones of contention regarding the consumption tax are not confined to such issues as the rate and timing of its introduction. Therefore, wide-ranging discussions will be needed.
 消費税を巡る論点は、単なる税率や時期にとどまらない。幅広い議論が必要である。

The first point is where to spend the increased revenues from the tax hike. A 1 percentage point hike in the consumption tax rate would translate into a tax revenue increase of 2.4 trillion yen. If the tax rate is raised to 10 percent, tax revenues will increase by about 12 trillion yen.
 一つは、増収分の使い道だ。消費税率を1%引き上げると税収は2・4兆円増える。税率を10%にすれば税収増は12兆円ほどだ。

Currently, revenues from the consumption tax are distributed among three fields: the basic pension program, health care for the elderly and nursing care. But Kan has expressed his intention to aggressively invest increased revenues in growth fields such as medical care and nursing industries in order to increase employment.
 現在は基礎年金、老人医療、介護の3分野に配分されているが、首相は医療や介護などの成長分野への積極投資で雇用を増やす考えを表明している。

Using the increased tax revenues to expand government spending without careful consideration may simply repeat earlier mistakes. We believe the consumption tax will have to be spent exclusively for social security services.
 増収分を安易に歳出拡大に回せば、いつか来た道である。消費税は、社会保障に限定する目的税化すべきである。

Under the current system, 1 percentage point worth of revenue from the 5 percent consumption tax is allocated to local governments. In addition, a certain portion of the revenue is also provided to local governments as local tax grants. Consequently, the central government can spend only about 7 trillion yen out of the total consumption tax revenues.
 5%の消費税率の1%分は、地方に回すことが決められている。さらに、地方交付税に配分される分もある。その結果、国が使える消費税は7兆円程度しかないのが現実だ。

Even if the consumption tax rate is raised to 10 percent, therefore, the central government is unlikely to have enough revenue from this source. The government may have to consider setting the rate at 15 percent or higher in the future, just as European countries do.
 これでは10%に引き上げても十分とは言えないだろう。将来的には、欧州並みの15%以上への引き上げも考えるべきではないか。

===

Help low-income earners

Another issue will be how to reduce the financial burden on low-income earners.
 低所得者の負担をどう軽減するかという問題もある。

Because the consumption tax is imposed equally on everyone, those in low-income brackets tend to feel more of a burden than high-income earners.
 消費税は誰でも同じ税率がかかるため、所得の多い人より少ない人に相対的に負担感が増す。

To alleviate this problem, some countries have introduced a system under which consumption tax rates are set lower for food and other daily necessities. Such a system is worth considering in this country as well.
 海外では、食料品など生活必需品の税率を低く抑える軽減税率を導入している。わが国でも検討すべきだろう。

Another option may be to pay tax refunds to low-income earners to cover the cost of the consumption tax they pay for daily necessities. Before implementing such a system, however, it will be an urgent task for the government to consider introducing an identification number system for tax and social security in order to know which households will be eligible for the system.
 生活必需品の消費税額相当分を低所得者に還元する手法もある。対象となる世帯の所得を把握するには、税と社会保障の共通番号制度の検討を急ぐ必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun,June 20, 2010)
(2010年6月20日01時19分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-06-21 04:52 | 英字新聞