株安と安倍政権 経済政策に「百年の計」を

–The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 16
EDITORIAL: A heavy price to pay for Abe’s short-sighted economic policy
(社説)株安と安倍政権 経済政策に「百年の計」を

The Japanese stock market has been in serious turmoil since the start of the year. The benchmark Nikkei stock average fell in all of the first six days of trading. Postwar Japan had never before experienced a New Year six-day losing streak. During the first two weeks of the year, the Nikkei was temporarily more than 2,000 points lower than its close at the end of 2015.
株式市場で年初から波乱含みの展開が続いている。日経平均株価は大発会から6営業日連続で下げた。これは戦後初めての事態だ。年初来の下げ幅も合計で一時2000円を超えた。

The stock market’s rout was due mainly to overseas factors like China’s increasingly pronounced economic slowdown. Nevertheless, the decline of stock prices has come as a heavy blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has been stressing the fact that the Nikkei index has more than doubled during the three years since he took office as a major achievement of his “Abenomics” economic policy.
中国経済の減速など海外要因が理由とはいえ、政権3年間で株価が2倍以上に上昇したことを「アベノミクスの成果」と誇る安倍政権にとっては痛手だろう。

Even so, neither the government nor the Bank of Japan should scramble to take new measures to prop up stock prices immediately.
だからと言って政府や日本銀行が目先の株価対策に走るようなことがあってはならない。

The stock market’s climb in the past three years has been driven mainly by the BOJ’s aggressive monetary expansion. In the meantime, the economy as a whole has been barely growing. That means the market rally has not been underpinned by an improvement in the real economy.
これまでの株高は、超金融緩和によってもたらされた側面が強い。経済成長のほうはゼロに近いわずかな伸びにとどまっており、実体経済とは遊離した株高だったと言える。

If so, the government’s economic policy should not be affected by what is happening in the stock market. The government should take the latest stock market retreat as a warning signal calling for an effective long-term economic strategy.
ならば、経済政策が株価に振り回される必要はない。政府には、この株安を長期的な備えを促す警鐘として受け止めてほしい。

The direction of the flow of money in the world is beginning to change radically. Late last year, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board ended its zero interest rate policy and raised interest rates for the first time in seven years.
The Fed’s action has set off a reversal in the direction of the flow of money. For years, money had been moving from industrial nations into emerging countries. The global glut of liquidity created by monetary easing in most of the developed world is likely to shrink in the coming years.
世界のお金の流れは大きく変わろうとしている。昨年末、米連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)が7年ぶりにゼロ金利を解除し、利上げに踏み切ったことで、先進国から新興国へと流れていたお金の潮流に巻き戻しが始まった。世界中でだぶついていた緩和マネーは今後収縮していく可能性が強い。

Major adjustments in world stock markets that have received a big boost from global monetary expansion are inevitable. The downturn of the Japanese stock market in the past two weeks should be seen as a consequence of this structural shift in the global trend. It should be assumed that the epic global stock market rally actually ended last summer when China’s fall-off in growth battered markets around the world.
緩和の恩恵を受けてきた株式市場で調整がおきるのは避けられない。最近の日本の株安もそういう構造変化の文脈でとらえたほうがいい。世界中が歴史的な株高に沸いた時期は、昨夏のチャイナ・ショックまでと見るべきだろう。

PRICE OF SHORTSIGHTED ECONOMIC POLICY
■目先優先のつけ回る

The Abe administration has shown a troubling tendency to place too much importance on short-term results and evaluations in its economic policy. The administration appears to have failed to take into account the implications of its economic policy for future generations as it has focused too much on meeting the current expectations of the public.
安倍政権の経済政策は、短期的な成果や評価を重視しすぎるきらいがある。人々の目の前の期待に応えようとする一方で、将来世代への視点を著しく欠いているのではないか。

Symptomatic of this tendency is how the government has been crafting the policy proposal to exempt foodstuffs from the scheduled consumption tax increase in April 2017.
来年4月に予定される消費増税で食料品などに導入する軽減税率を巡る政策対応は、その典型と言っていい。

Although the government has no clear plan to raise the estimated 1 trillion yen ($8.5 billion) needed to finance the food exemption, Abe recently indicated in a Diet session that the government will consider using the increase in tax revenues for that purpose.
軽減税率を構えるために必要な財源1兆円のめどがたっていないなかで、首相は国会で「税収上ぶれ分」を検討することに言及した。

It is extremely irresponsible to count on an increase in tax revenues when deciding on such a permanent economic policy measure.
税収が予想より増えるのをあてにして恒久的な政策を決めるのは、きわめて無責任だ。

If tax revenues fail to rise above the estimate, the government will end up funding the measure with new debt. In other words, this approach will only pass on the problem to future generations.
税収が予想より増えなかった場合、結局は、政府が新たな借金でしのぐしかなくなる。つまりは、これも将来世代への問題の先送りにすぎない。

The BOJ’s “different dimension” monetary easing, which has been supporting Abenomics, also entails an “invisible financial burden on the public.”
アベノミクスを支える日銀の異次元緩和にも「見えない国民負担」が隠されている。

Currently, the central bank is purchasing huge amounts of government bonds at high prices. When the economy starts picking up, however, bond prices will fall while yields rise. Monetary tightening in response to improvement in economic conditions will result in heavy losses for the BOJ due to negative yields. The central bank could even find its liabilities exceeding its assets. This is a situation that will require taxpayer money to be used to cover the losses.
いま日銀は高値で国債を大量購入しているが、いずれ景気がよくなれば国債価格は下落(利回りは上昇)する。その局面での金融引き締めは日銀には逆ざやとなって巨額損失が見込まれる。債務超過の恐れもある。穴埋めに使われるのは国民の税金である。

This, too, is an approach that could force future generations to pay the price of a shortsighted policy focused on bolstering economic growth and stock prices in the near term.
足元の経済成長や株高という目先の政策を優先してきたつけが将来に回りかねない危うさがここにも潜んでいる。

MORE ATTENTION TO INTERESTS OF FUTURE GENERATIONS
■将来世代と連結で

Still, the administration insists that Abenomics is working. Then why are Japanese companies reluctant to raise wages and eager to build up cash reserves, even though they are generating record profits? Why are Japanese consumers unwilling to ramp up their spending?
それでも政権は「アベノミクスは成功している」としている。ならば、なぜ企業は史上最高益をあげても賃上げに及び腰で、内部留保をため込むのか。国民が消費に尻込みするのはどうしてなのか。

Keiichiro Kobayashi, a professor of economics at Keio University, says the “short-term optimism” expressed emphatically by the government has underscored its failure to face up to the harsh reality, resulting in the spread of “long-term pessimism” among companies and consumers.
小林慶一郎慶大教授は「“短期楽観”を強調する政府の姿勢そのものが厳しい現実を見ていないことを露呈し、かえって企業や消費者を“長期悲観”に陥らせている」という。

Shifting the burden to future generations will not change the fact that taxpayers in this country will have to cover the price sooner or later.
国民負担を先送りしても、いずれ、この国の誰かが支払わなければならない。

The burden could grow further in the meantime, leading to bigger tax increases and sharper spending cuts over time. There is even the possibility that people’s livelihoods may be threatened by hyperinflation in the future.
先送りしている間にそれがいっそう膨れあがり、時間の経過とともに増税や歳出削減の規模が大きくなってしまうかもしれない。いつか超インフレに襲われ生活が脅かされる可能性だってある――。

It seems that the Japanese people are increasingly aware of these possibilities and acting accordingly.
国民はすでにそう予感し、行動しているのではないか。

In order to allay such anxiety among the public, it is necessary for the government to evaluate and announce both the short- and long-term effects of policy measures by estimating their consolidated results for retirees, the working population and future generations.
そんな不信を取り除くには、リタイア世代、現役世代、将来世代をあわせた現在と未来の「連結決算」で政策効果を検証し、国民に示す必要がある。

At the beginning of the year, both the stock market and the business community were brimming with optimism about the nation’s economic outlook. It was as if market players and business leaders believed that they would be saved by simply talking themselves into betting on the government’s claim that everything will go well.
年初には株式市場や経済界には経済の先行きを楽観する声があふれていた。政権と声を合わせ「うまくいく」と自己暗示をかけることが救われる道なのだと信じているかのように。

REAL CHALLENGE IS FISCAL REHABILITATION
■財政再建こそが課題

But the era of excessive liquidity due to extreme easing of the monetary policy is now coming to an end. The government’s excessively optimistic growth forecasts–a nominal economic growth of 3 percent and a real economic growth of 2 percent–and its medium-term fiscal plan, based on this hope-for-the-best policy stance, will both turn out to be serious mistakes sooner or later.
だが、超金融緩和がもたらしたカネ余りの時代は終わりを迎えようとしている。「名目3%、実質2%成長」という楽観に楽観を重ねた政府の経済見通しと、それに基づく中期財政計画は早晩、行き詰まる。

Pushing through fiscal reforms based on more realistic views about the nation’s economy, which also take account of the possibility of a prolonged period of economic stagnation, will become the biggest policy challenge.
さえない経済の時代が長く続くことも想定した現実的見通しに基づいて財政再建を進めていくことが、最重要課題になるはずだ。

The current Diet session is considering a draft supplementary budget that contains an outlay for cash payments to the elderly with small pension pots, a measure that has all the hallmarks of a giveaway of taxpayer money.
今国会でも、ばらまき的色彩が濃い低年金高齢者への給付金を盛り込んだ補正予算案が審議されている。

The Abe administration’s attention is apparently focused on this summer Upper House election.
安倍政権の関心は夏の参院選対策に向けられているのだろう。

Politicians should look further into the future and tackle fiscal rehabilitation under a farsighted policy program. The Abe administration should concentrate its policy efforts on such challenges.
もっと先も見据え、日本の国家運営の「百年の計」を考えて財政再建に取り組む姿勢がいまの政治にほしい。政権のエネルギーはそこに注ぐべきだ。

広告

srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク

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