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子ども手当 半額支給維持も容易ではない

2010-06-29 06:52:59 | 英字新聞
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)
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G8サミット 日本の存在感低下に歯止めを

2010-06-28 07:04:00 | 英字新聞
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)
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W杯ベスト16 組織力生かしさらに上位を

2010-06-27 09:04:52 | 英字新聞
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)
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参院選公示 政治と経済立て直しの契機に

2010-06-26 08:24:36 | 英字新聞
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)
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所得税論議 最高税率引き上げは問題多い

2010-06-25 07:17:38 | 英字新聞
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)
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