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所信表明演説 危機突破へ成長戦略を語れ

2013-01-31 04:59:57 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 30, 2013)
Abe must formulate strategy to boost nation's growth
所信表明演説 危機突破へ成長戦略を語れ(1月29日付・読売社説)

Strong determination and concrete policy measures are imperative in achieving the breakthroughs needed to overcome the crises facing Japan.
 日本が直面する「危機」を突破していくには、強い意志と具体的な政策が重要である。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made his first policy speech since regaining power at the plenary sessions of the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors.
 安倍首相が衆参両院本会議で、政権復帰後初めての所信表明演説を行った。

Abe said the source of his determination to serve as prime minister for the second time lies in his "deep sense of patriotism." He clearly demonstrated his resolve to have his entire Cabinet make utmost efforts to address crises in four areas: the economy, reconstruction from the 2011 earthquake disaster, foreign and security issues, and education.
 首相に再登板した決意の源は「深き憂国の念」だとし、経済と震災復興、外交・安全保障、教育の四つの「危機」に内閣を挙げて取り組む姿勢を明確にした。

What he underscored as the biggest and most pressing issue was economic revitalization. A strong economy will help increase individuals' income and strengthen the foundations for social security systems. The prime minister's recognition of the importance of this issue is appropriate.
 最大かつ喫緊の課題と強調したのは経済再生だ。「強い経済」が国民の所得を増やし、社会保障制度の基盤強化にもつながるとする首相の認識は妥当である。

The government has issued a joint statement with the Bank of Japan that stipulates a 2 percent inflation target. A supplementary budget that includes stimulus measures worth 10 trillion yen will be submitted to the Diet shortly. We praise Abe for setting in motion two of his "three arrows" for economic revitalization--monetary easing and fiscal measures.
 政府は、2%の物価目標を明記した日本銀行との共同声明をまとめた。10兆円規模の経済対策を盛り込んだ補正予算案を近く国会に提出する。首相の掲げる「3本の矢」のうち金融緩和と財政政策が動き出したことは評価できる。

===

Handle divided Diet carefully

The remaining "arrow" is growth strategy. At the Headquarters for Japan's Economic Revitalization, comprising the entire Cabinet, and the Industrial Competitiveness Council, in which relevant Cabinet ministers and outside experts are participating, the Abe administration must hammer out effective policy measures to stimulate private investment to increase synergistic effects with monetary and fiscal policy measures.
 残るのは成長戦略だ。全閣僚参加の日本経済再生本部や、有識者を交えた産業競争力会議で、民間投資を喚起する効果的な政策を打ち出し、金融・財政政策との相乗効果を高めねばならない。

To overcome the nation's crises, the prime minister called on the opposition bloc to cooperate. "Let us mobilize the wisdom of the ruling and opposition parties and demonstrate Japan's strength to the greatest possible extent," Abe said in his speech. It also is essential for the administration to carefully handle the Diet, as the upper house is controlled by the opposition.
 首相は演説で危機突破のために「与野党の叡智(えいち)を結集させ、国力を最大限発揮させよう」と野党に協力を求めた。衆参ねじれ国会であることからも、丁寧な国会運営が欠かせない。

A focal point in the Diet is that the government must obtain approval for its appointment of the successor to Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa, whose term expires in April. Early passage of budgets and related bills also is of major importance.
 国会の焦点は、4月に任期が切れる白川方明日銀総裁の後任人事の国会同意取り付けと、予算案と予算関連法案の早期成立だ。

Besides holding talks with the Democratic Party of Japan, the largest party in the upper house, the ruling parties should hold discussions with Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Your Party, which share similar views on monetary and economic policy measures. We believe the Abe administration should consider the possibility of joining hands with these parties on a policy-by-policy basis.
 参院第1党の民主党に加え、金融・経済政策で共通点が多い日本維新の会やみんなの党とも協議することが重要だ。政策ごとの連携も視野に入れる必要があろう。

===

How will PM rebuild China ties

In his speech, Abe delivered simple and easy-to-understand messages as he narrowed the points to highlight certain issues.
 今回の演説は、首相がメリハリをつけようと項目を絞り込んだため、シンプルで分かりやすいメッセージになった。

On the other hand, we consider unsatisfactory Abe's failure to refer to many important issues. We want him to clarify his stances on these issues through Diet debates.
反面、多くの重要課題に言及がなかったことは物足りない。国会論戦を通じて見解を明らかにしてもらいたい。

They include the government's policy toward China, one of the nation's biggest pending issues. Abe earlier said the nation would "resolutely protect" the Senkaku Islands. But we wonder how Japan-China relations will be rebuilt.
 例えば、最大の懸案の一つである中国政策だ。尖閣諸島を「断固として守り抜く」とする一方で、日中関係をどう立て直すのか。

Abe also did not touch on energy policy. We think he should have provided a full explanation on the necessity of reactivating idled nuclear reactors so that public anxiety over electricity shortages will not hinder economic revitalization.
 エネルギー政策にも触れていない。電力不足への不安感が経済再生の足を引っ張らないよう、首相が原発再稼働の必要性を丁寧に説明すべきだったのではないか。

He clearly stated in his speech that Japan would play a leading role in economic and security issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
 首相は演説で、日本がアジア太平洋地域で経済や安保の「先導役」となることを明言した。

Therefore, he should have Japan enter negotiations on the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade framework so the nation will be able to take full advantage of growth in other parts of Asia.
 それならば、アジアの成長を取り込むため、米国が主導する環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉への参加を決断すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 29, 2013)
(2013年1月29日01時27分  読売新聞)

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オバマ氏2期目 米国再生へ真価が問われる

2013-01-30 04:42:18 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 29, 2013)
Can U.S. achieve revival during Obama's 2nd term?
オバマ氏2期目 米国再生へ真価が問われる(1月28日付・読売社説)

The coming four years will be a crucial test of Barack Obama's ability to revive the United States.
 米国再生へ成果が問われる重要な4年間だ。

After his reelection, Obama has launched his second term as U.S. president.
 再選を果たしたオバマ米大統領が、2期目のスタートを切った。

In a speech marking the inauguration of his second term, Obama touted his first-term achievements, saying: "A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun."
 オバマ氏は新たな任期に臨む就任式で「10年に及ぶ戦争は今、終わりつつある。経済の回復も始まった」と述べ、1期目の成果を誇示した。

U.S. troops in Afghanistan will complete their combat mission shortly and pull out at the end of next year. Stock prices that nosedived after the "Lehman shock" have been rising sharply, exceeding precrisis levels. And the U.S. energy boom is surging due to the so-called shale gas revolution.
 アフガニスタン駐留米軍は戦闘任務をまもなく終え、来年末には撤収する。リーマン・ショックで急落した株価も危機前の水準を超えて大幅に上昇し、シェールガス革命でエネルギーブームだ。

Obama probably takes pride in his achievement of overcoming negative legacies of the previous Bush administration.
 オバマ氏には、ブッシュ前政権の「負の遺産」を克服したという自負心があるのだろう。

However, a bumpy road lies ahead before the United States can attain a full-scale revival.
 ただし、本格的な再生へ、前途はいばらの道である。

===

Fiscal mess must be fixed

The top-priority challenge will be fiscal reconstruction.
 最重要課題は財政再建だ。

Fiscal deficits topped 1 trillion dollars (about 90 trillion yen) for four consecutive years, and government debts ballooned to exceed 16 trillion dollars.
 財政赤字は4年連続で1兆ドル(約90兆円)を超え、政府債務残高も16兆ドル超に膨れ上がった。

The United States has so far avoided the double threats of falling off the fiscal cliff: mandatory spending cuts and the expiration of large-scale tax breaks. A government default will likely be avoided for about three months by raising the ceiling on the issuance of U.S. Treasury bills, which limits federal borrowing.
 大型減税の失効と歳出の強制削減が重なる「財政の崖」からの転落は、ひとまず回避した。連邦政府の借り入れ枠である米国債発行枠(債務上限)を暫定的に引き上げ、デフォルト(債務不履行)も約3か月避けられる方向だ。

However, implementation of drastic fiscal reconstruction measures are being put on the back burner.
 だが、抜本的な財政再建策は先送りされている。

Obama must display strong leadership in passing necessary bills through Congress.
 オバマ氏は、議会で必要な法案が成立するよう、強い指導力を発揮しなければならない。

Partisan confrontation has been intensifying rather than subsiding under a divided Congress in which the House of Representatives is controlled by the opposition Republican Party and the Senate by the Democratic Party. Obama will face a tough job in dealing with Republican representatives on key bills.
 下院を野党・共和党、上院を民主党が制する“ねじれ議会”で、党派対立はむしろ深まっている。議会対策は容易ではあるまい。

To help overcome the challenge, Obama is replacing key Cabinet members--including secretaries of Treasury, state and defense--and has nominated seasoned politicians with broad influence in Congress to fill the posts.
 オバマ氏が、財務、国務、国防各長官ら主要閣僚を交代し、議会に顔が利くベテランを指名したのも、そのための布陣と言える。

===

A host of challenges

Obama faces a host of difficult policy challenges at home. Among them are legislation for gun control in the aftermath of the shooting rampage that claimed the lives of 20 elementary school students, and reform of the immigration system to give the children of illegal immigrants conditional citizenship.
 小学生20人が犠牲となった銃乱射事件を受けた銃規制の法整備、不法移民の子供に条件付きで市民権を付与する移民制度改革など、内政の難題は山積している。

On diplomatic and security fronts, Obama will have to cope with the ongoing nuclear development programs of North Korea and Iran. Washington's active engagement will be indispensable to promote the deadlocked Middle East peace process and deal with the turmoil stemming from the Arab Spring pro-democracy movement.
 外交・安全保障面では、進む一方の北朝鮮やイランの核開発に取り組まねばならない。停滞したままの中東和平や「アラブの春」後の混乱に対処する上でも、米国の積極的な関与は欠かせない。

Above all, the Obama administration's strategy of focusing on Asia is being put to the test.
 とりわけ、アジア重視戦略の真価が問われている。

How will the White House develop a relationship with the Chinese administration led by Xi Jinping while curbing the moves of China, which has been expanding its military and economic power? It will be essential for the United States to buttress relations with Japan and other allies to build a free, open and peaceful Asia-Pacific region.
 軍事的にも経済的にも膨張著しい中国を牽制(けんせい)しつつ、習近平政権とどういう関係を築くのか。自由で開かれた平和なアジア太平洋地域の構築へ、日本など同盟国との関係強化は不可欠である。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit the United States next month and hold a summit meeting with Obama. We hope the two leaders will discuss how to reinforce the Japan-U.S. alliance from a strategic viewpoint focusing on China.
 安倍首相は来月、訪米し、オバマ氏と首脳会談に臨む。中国をにらんだ戦略的な日米同盟の強化策を論じ合ってもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 28, 2013)
(2013年1月28日01時07分  読売新聞)

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巨額貿易赤字 輸出力の強化と原発再稼動を

2013-01-29 04:25:51 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 28, 2013)
Restart nuclear power plants, boost exports to recoup trading ground
巨額貿易赤字 輸出力の強化と原発再稼動を(1月27日付・読売社説)

The foundation of Japan as a trading country is eroding. Both government and private sectors must work together to recoup lost ground.
 「貿易立国」としての日本の土台が揺らいでいる。官民で巻き返しを図らねばならない。

The 2012 trading balance--exports minus imports--ran up a record deficit of 6.9 trillion yen, far exceeding 2.6 trillion yen in 1980 that immediately followed the second oil crisis.
 輸出額から輸入額を差し引いた2012年の貿易収支は、過去最大の6・9兆円の赤字だった。第2次石油危機直後の1980年に記録した2・6兆円を大きく上回った。

Last year's trade deficit is 2.7 times more than the 2011 figure, the first trade deficit in 31 years, which was attributable to the negative effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake. This is a very serious situation.
 東日本大震災の影響で31年ぶりに貿易赤字に転落した一昨年と比べても2・7倍に増えた。極めて深刻な事態である。

The trade deficit was caused by a decline in exports due to the European financial crisis and deceleration of the Chinese economy, combined with a sharp increase in imports.
 要因は、欧州危機や中国経済減速に伴い、輸出が減少する一方、輸入が急増したことによる。

After the disaster occurred at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the operations of nuclear reactors were suspended around the country. Since then, only two have been reactivated.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所事故後、原発が全国で停止し、再稼働したのは2基にとどまる。

As an alternative electricity source, power companies have been operating thermal power stations at full blast. Consequently, imports of liquefied natural gas, the fuel needed for these power stations, have increased abnormally to a massive 6 trillion yen a year.
 電力各社が代替電源として火力発電をフル稼働した結果、燃料となる液化天然ガス(LNG)の輸入額が年間で約6兆円にも達する異常事態になっている。

Meanwhile, Japan's current account balance, which includes dividends and interest from overseas investment, remains in surplus. However, there are concerns that this balance will eventually fall into the red if the trade deficit continues.
 海外への投資による配当や利子の受け取りを含めた経常黒字は続いている。だが、巨額の貿易赤字が慢性化すると、いずれ経常収支も赤字転落が懸念されよう。

===

Hollowing out of industry

To rebuild its status as a trading nation, Japan first has to strengthen the competitiveness of its manufacturing industry to increase exports.
 「貿易立国」の立て直しにまず必要なのは、輸出拡大につながる製造業の競争力強化である。

Japanese electrical appliance manufacturers have fallen behind their South Korean rivals in the markets of flat-screen televisions, mobile phones and others. Japan also has a 3 trillion yen a year excess in imports for medicine and medical equipment, markets that are growing quickly.
 電機業界は、薄型テレビや携帯電話市場などで韓国メーカーなどに出遅れた。成長市場である医薬・医療機器分野でも、年約3兆円の輸入超過になっている。

Japanese manufacturers must develop attractive products of high value and find ways to capitalize on growing markets in the emerging economies of Asia and other regions.
 製造業各社が、付加価値の高い魅力的な商品を開発し、アジアなど新興国の成長市場を積極的に取り込む工夫が要る。

Behind the huge trade deficit is the rapid hollowing-out of the domestic manufacturing industry, as Japanese firms are moving their production overseas to avoid the high costs of operating in this country.
 貿易赤字の背景には、コスト高を回避するため、製造業が拠点を海外に移転し、国内空洞化が加速している事情がある。

The government should help Japanese companies by such means as lowering corporate tax and giving tax credits for investment so they will be able to take full advantage of manufacturing in Japan. The Industrial Competitiveness Council created recently by the government should devise measures to promote "made-in-Japan" products.
 国内立地の利点を享受できるよう、政府は法人税減税や投資減税などを拡充し、企業を支援すべきだ。新設された産業競争力会議は「メード・イン・ジャパン」のテコ入れ策を示してもらいたい。

===

Make decision on TPP

The government also should not wait any longer to decide on participating in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact to help Japanese firms compete better in overseas markets.
 海外市場の攻略には、環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加決断も待ったなしだ。

What would be most important to reduce imports would be to reactivate idle nuclear reactors quickly after their safety has been confirmed. The longer Japan depends on thermal power generation, LNG imports will continue to increase and the nation's wealth will flow to countries rich in natural resources.
 一方、輸入を減らすために最も重要なのは、安全性を確認できた原発の再稼働を急ぐことだ。火力発電に依存する状況が長期化するほど、LNGの輸入額が増えて国富が資源国に流出する。

The rising cost of LNG also will eventually result in an increase in electricity charges.
 LNG調達コスト上昇で電気料金値上げに拍車をかけよう。

The excessively strong yen has been corrected and the weaker yen is becoming the norm on foreign exchange markets. This helps exporters, but excessive depreciation of the yen will further increase the prices of imports of LNG and other foreign products. Close attention should be paid to this.
 為替市場で超円高が是正され、円安が定着してきた。輸出企業にはプラスだが、円安が行き過ぎるとLNGなどの輸入額を一段と急増させる。これにも要警戒だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 27, 2013)
(2013年1月27日01時34分  読売新聞)

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途上国リスク 日本企業が抱える課題は重い

2013-01-28 04:37:11 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 27, 2013)
Hostage crisis shows challenges facing Japanese firms abroad
途上国リスク 日本企業が抱える課題は重い(1月26日付・読売社説)

The taking of hostages by Islamist militants at a natural gas plant in Algeria has forced Japanese companies operating abroad to review their security management systems.
 アルジェリアで起きたイスラム武装勢力による人質事件は、海外展開する日本企業に危機管理体制の見直しを迫った。

They have to strike a difficult balance between developing business opportunities abroad and preparing countermeasures against terrorism and other risks.
 ビジネスチャンスを拡大しながら、テロなどのリスクにどう備えるか。難しい課題の両立策を模索しなければならない。

In the recent crisis, 10 employees of major plant construction company JGC Corp. and companies related to it were killed. On Friday, the bodies of nine of them returned to Japan on a Japanese government plane, along with seven survivors.
 犠牲になった大手プラントメーカー日揮と関連会社の社員10人のうち9人の遺体と、無事だった7人が、政府専用機で帰国した。

JGC has developed natural resources in Algeria since the 1960s. It does business not only in Africa but also in many countries in the Middle East, Asia and other regions.
 日揮は1960年代からアルジェリアの資源開発に取り組み、アフリカだけでなく、中東、アジアなど世界に展開してきた。

JGC is a pioneering Japanese corporation in doing business abroad. Over 70 percent of its sales are earned in other countries. We have to take very seriously the fact that even JGC, with its thorough knowledge of operating in developing countries, could fall victim to terrorism.
 売上高に占める海外比率は7割超に達し、海外で稼ぐパイオニア企業である。途上国ビジネスに精通していた日揮ですら、テロに巻き込まれたのは深刻だ。

===

Risks in developing countries

"[The hostage-taking incident] shows the challenge of doing business and securing safety simultaneously," said JGC President Koichi Kawana at a press conference. His words reflect a common challenge for other Japanese firms operating abroad.
 川名浩一社長は記者会見で「安全を確保しながらビジネスを進めていく課題を突き付けられた」と述べた。海外展開する日本企業に共通の課題と言えよう。

About 15 Japanese companies have offices in Algeria. In other African countries that are also rich in natural resources and expected to grow economically, Japanese firms compete with each other in the trade, construction, automobile and many other industries.
 アルジェリアには日本企業約15社の拠点がある。資源が豊富で成長が期待されるアフリカ各地で、商社、ゼネコン、自動車など様々な業界が競っている。

According to a survey by the Japan External Trade Organization, 70 percent of Japanese firms operating in Africa said the continent will become increasingly important. But 90 percent said Africa had problems regarding political and social stability, which undermines security. The figures show the dilemma such firms face.
 日本貿易振興機構(ジェトロ)の調査では、アフリカに進出した日本企業の7割が「アフリカの重要性が増す」と答える一方、9割が「治安など政治的・社会的な安定性」を問題点に挙げた。各社のジレンマがうかがえる。

After the latest incident, Japanese firms operating abroad have taken defensive measures such as prohibiting employees from traveling to countries where security concerns are high and enhancing the security of their offices and plants. We think those are appropriate actions.
 今回の事件後、各社は治安悪化が懸念される国への出張を禁止したり、事務所やプラントなどの警備を強化するなどの自衛策を打ち出した。当然の対応だろう。

===

Coordinate with governments

However, there is a limit to the defensive measures a private company can afford to take. We expect companies to reexamine their security measures by strengthening their coordination with the Japanese government and the governments of the other countries where they operate.
 だが、一企業による自衛策には限界もある。政府や地元政府などとの連携を強化し、安全対策を総点検してもらいたい。

Meanwhile, the government plans to review its own response to the incident while organizing a panel of experts to study ways to protect Japanese nationals abroad. It is important to discuss the risks in developing countries from a broader perspective.
 政府は、事件対応を検証するとともに、有識者懇談会を設置し、邦人保護のあり方を検討する。幅広い観点からの議論が重要だ。

We would like to suggest that both ruling and opposition parties begin talks as soon as possible on establishing a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council to enhance the government's ability to systematically gather and analyze intelligence on terrorism.
 テロ関連の情報収集・分析体制を強化するため、国家安全保障会議(日本版NSC)の早期設置へ与野党協議を始めてはどうか。

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner New Komeito plan to discuss revision of the Self-Defense Forces Law. Though it is already possible under the current law to transport Japanese nationals on SDF ships and planes, the parties are considering revising the law so that the SDF can also rescue and transport Japanese people on land in other countries.
 自民、公明両党は自衛隊法改正を検討する。現行法で可能な自衛艦・航空機による邦人輸送に加え外国での邦人救出や陸上輸送を可能にすることを想定している。

However, the advance agreement of the countries concerned will be necessary for the SDF to carry out such missions. The missions will also require a relaxation of the rules on the use of weapons, which is narrowly restricted to immediate self-defense at present. It will also be necessary to specially train Ground Self-Defense Force members in how to protect people in their care.
 しかし、新たな任務の実施は当事国の同意が前提となる。正当防衛などに限定されている武器使用基準の緩和のほか、陸上自衛隊には警護任務の特殊な訓練が求められる。

The ruling parties should have serious and responsible discussions of these issues.
これらの課題について、しっかり論議することが大切だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 26, 2013)
(2013年1月26日01時36分  読売新聞)

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税制改正大綱 難題先送りでは責任果たせぬ

2013-01-27 06:05:45 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 26, 2013)
Postponing tax question will not lead to solution
税制改正大綱 難題先送りでは責任果たせぬ(1月25日付・読売社説)

A stopgap approach to resolving a challenge can never lead to reinvigoration of the national economy. Drastic revision of the tax system is urgently needed now.
 その場しのぎの対応では、日本経済は活性化しない。税制の抜本的な改革が急務である。

The Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner New Komeito have decided on an outline of the ruling bloc's tax system revisions for fiscal 2013.
 自民、公明両党が2013年度の与党税制改正大綱を決定した。

With the consumption tax rate scheduled to be raised to 8 percent from April 2014, the posture of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration has drawn much attention.
 14年4月に予定される消費税率の8%への引き上げを控え、安倍政権の姿勢が問われていた。

Regarding the wisdom of applying a reduced rate to such goods as foodstuffs, the two parties have agreed to strive to introduce a lower tax rate when the consumption tax is raised from 8 percent to 10 percent in October 2015.
 焦点となった食料品などの消費税率を抑える軽減税率は、消費税が8%から10%に上がる15年10月導入を目指すことで合意した。

The LDP and Komeito seem to have postponed the introduction of a low tax rate on daily necessities mainly because they took into account objections from small and midsize businesses and others that their business operations would be complicated by the introduction of a reduced tax rate.
 軽減税率導入に伴う煩雑な手続きに不満を抱く中小企業などに配慮したと言える。

To secure public understanding about the consumption tax increase, however, it is definitely desirable to implement a lower rate system when the rate is raised to 8 percent. We believe the decision to put off its introduction is problematic.
 だが、消費増税への国民の理解を得るには、税率を8%にする時から導入する方が望ましい。実施時期の先送りは問題である。

===

Reduced rate must be 5%

The LDP and Komeito have agreed to have the specific rate of reduction, and the range of lower-rate goods, discussed by a panel of experts and to reach a conclusion toward the end of the year when deciding on tax system revisions for fiscal 2014.
 自公両党は、専門委員会で税率や対象品目などを協議し、今年末に決める14年度税制改正で結論を出すという。

Discussions on the issue must be launched promptly to ensure that lower rate arrangements are implemented when the tax is raised to 10 percent.
速やかに検討を始め、10%段階での導入を確実にしなければならない。

When the low tax rate system is introduced, the rate should be set at 5 percent on not only foodstuffs but also newspapers and magazines, which are public goods that serve as pillars of democracy.
 その際、軽減する消費税率は5%とし、対象には食料品のほか、民主主義を支える公共財である新聞・雑誌も含めるべきだ。

Discussions on the motor vehicle acquisition tax and weight tax were difficult to the last, and the question of how to deal with these taxes was narrowly settled as a result of concessions by various sides.
 最後まで調整が難航した自動車取得税と自動車重量税の扱いも、妥協の末に決着した。

Under the LDP-Komeito accord, the motor vehicle acquisition tax will be reduced when the consumption tax is raised to 8 percent and abolished when the rate is increased to 10 percent. As for the weight tax, the current tax breaks on eco-friendly vehicles will become permanent, with a view to using the motor vehicle-related tax revenue for improving and maintaining roads.
 取得税を消費税8%時に引き下げ、10%時に廃止する一方、重量税はエコカー減税を恒久化し、道路整備に充てる方針だ。

The planned abolition of the motor vehicle acquisition tax will reduce local governments' tax revenues by about 200 billion yen a year.
 取得税の廃止により、地方税収が年間約2000億円減る。

The tax system revision outline stipulates that abolition of the acquisition tax will "not adversely affect the finances of local governments." There have been no prospects, however, of how to secure revenue sources to make up for the lost income.
大綱は「地方財政に影響を及ぼさない」と明記したが、代替財源の見通しは立っていない。

===

Simplify motor vehicle taxes

The automobile industry has called for abolition of both the motor vehicle acquisition tax and weight tax. It argues that they will cause a slump in motor vehicle sales if they remain in place after the consumption tax goes up. But local governments, concerned about loss of revenue, have opposed the abolition of the two taxes.
 自動車業界は「消費増税で販売不振を招く」として取得税と重量税の廃止を求め、税収減を懸念する自治体が反対した。

Apparently taking this summer's House of Councillors election into account, the LDP-Komeito agreement is an equivocal one intended to show deference to both the automobile industry and local governments.
今夏の参院選をにらみ、業界と地方双方の顔を立てる玉虫色の決着である。

The purposes for which the automobile weight tax is to be used are also problematic.
 重量税の使途も疑問だ。

The two parties' agreement on the matter could eventually lead to a revival of the tax revenues set aside for road construction that the administration of the Democratic Party of Japan did away with in 2009 in the name of reducing fiscal waste.
無駄な公共事業の温床になるとして、自民党政権が09年に廃止した道路特定財源の復活にならないか。

It is important to thoroughly review and simplify the highly complicated tax structure on motor vehicles, including the gasoline tax.
 複雑な仕組みの自動車課税を、ガソリン税を含めて総合的に見直し、簡素化することが重要だ。

Also envisioned in connection with tax system revisions for next fiscal year are increases in income and inheritance taxes on the wealthy. The effect of the tax hikes in securing fiscal resources for the government, however, is certain to be limited, and they may discourage people in high income brackets from working, lessening the nation's economic vitality.
 来年度改正では、富裕層を対象に所得税と相続税の課税強化を打ち出した。財源確保の効果は限定的で、労働意欲や経済活力をそぐことになりかねない。

Expansion of the tax breaks on housing loans and on some items of business activity has also been incorporated into the tax system revision outline, but it is unclear how effectively these steps will bolster the economy.
 住宅ローン減税の拡充や企業向け減税も盛り込まれたが、どこまで経済をテコ入れできるかは未知数だ。

Such measures as a full-fledged cut in corporate income tax, coupled with a solid growth strategy, must be realized.
成長戦略と連動した法人税減税などが求められよう。

The government should explore ways to balance the tax burdens in each category of income level, assets and consumption.
 所得・資産・消費で均衡のとれた負担のあり方を探るべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 25, 2013)
(2013年1月25日01時20分  読売新聞)

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