Japan must map out its own GPS strategy

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 21, 2010)
Japan must map out its own GPS strategy
衛星みちびき 日本版GPSの戦略作り急げ(9月20日付・読売社説)

Japan's first navigation satellite, Michibiki, aimed at improving the global positioning system's coverage of Japan, has been launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The project--undertaken jointly by the industrial, public and academic sectors--calls for technology verification tests and is aimed at reducing the margin of error of GPS devices used in car navigation and other services from the current 10 meters or so to less than one meter.

The market for satellite-based GPS products and services has been expanding globally. We hope that the Michibiki project will bring about results that make Japan more competitive in this area.

Fifty-eight different tests are planned. The success or failure of the project depends on how its high positioning accuracy can be utilized.

One example is a proposed guidance system for unmanned snow removers and farm machinery. Neither snow removal from roads nor soil cultivation in fields can be done if the machines are allowed to drift as much as 10 meters off course. Both can be done only when the margin of error is held to less than one meter.


Diverse applications

GPS has been widely used in a diverse range of fields from rescue operations in alpine accidents to consumer products such as digital cameras. Such cameras are popular because locations where photos are shot are automatically stored for use as travel records.

Improvement of GPS accuracy will stimulate further growth in such existing fields.

A hallmark of Michibiki lies in the orbit it takes. Michibiki flies in an asymmetrical figure-eight course above the western Pacific, including Japan, every 24 hours.

Michibiki's flight above Japan accounts for about eight hours of each orbit. If three satellites like Michibiki were put into orbit, at least one would be above Japan at all times. Because GPS satellites rely on line-of-sight radio wave transmission, this would nearly eliminate the problem of signals being blocked by obstacles such as buildings and mountains.

The GPS currently uses about 30 U.S. satellites to cover the entire globe. Accurate results depend on devices on or near the Earth's surface being able to compare signals from four satellites in the visible sky. The system can fail in urban and mountainous areas where the lower portions of the sky are blocked by mountains or buildings.

Additional transmissions from Michibiki, which will often be nearly overhead in Japan, will enhance positioning accuracy.

The problem is how to secure funding for the satellites that are meant to follow Michibiki. It cost 40 billion yen to build Michibiki. The cost for similar following satellites is estimated at a hefty 35 billion yen each. At least three satellites are necessary to commercialize the enhanced Japanese version of the GPS system. Discussions have begun about how to divide costs between the public and private sectors.


A project team planned

The government says it will establish a project team comprising officials from the ministries and agencies concerned to study how to pay for the satellites that will follow Michibiki by the end of the current fiscal year. In that instance, the government must give due consideration to international trends and Japan's security interests.

The GPS was developed by the United States, originally for military purposes. It remains to be seen whether its use may be restricted in the future. Out of such concern, China, India and European countries are building their own positioning systems. Russia operates its own system for the purpose of ensuring security and defense.

The United States, China and Europe are moving toward cooperation with each other on positioning technology.

Against such a background, Japan must work out a GPS strategy that will take advantage of its technology while maintaining its international voice.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 20, 2010)
(2010年9月20日01時20分  読売新聞)




Consumption tax debate must proceed

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 20, 2010)
Consumption tax debate must proceed
消費税論議 新体制で与野党協議進めよ(9月19日付・読売社説)

Fiscal reconstruction and economic recovery are the main themes that Prime Minister Naoto Kan's newly reshuffled Cabinet must address. It should prop up the economy and rehabilitate the nation's fiscal condition, which is the worst among advanced nations.

To that end, the Cabinet must put its back into tackling the consumption tax issue, which the prime minister began to treat cautiously after the Democratic Party of Japan's setback in the House of Councillors election in July.

The battle lines on this issue were drawn in the run-up to last week's DPJ presidential election. While Kan said he would consider drastic tax reforms, including of the consumption tax, his opponent, former DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa, stressed the government should cut waste before raising taxes.


Increase is inevitable

It is a foregone conclusion that reducing waste, no matter how seriously the government tackles the problem, will not generate much in the way of financial resources.

Also, we cannot say that replacing central government subsidies to local governments with lump-sum grants to them with fewer strings attached, or securitizing state-owned assets, constitutes the kiss of life for an anemic economy.

It is likely that Kan's victory in the DPJ leadership race was due in part to the many DPJ lawmakers, party members and supporters who judged as unreasonable Ozawa's vow to fully implement the promises contained in the party's manifesto without clearly indicating the financial resources to fund them.

It is impermissible for the issue of financial resources to be left on the shelf any longer in this country, which is saddled with massive budget deficits. And it is clear that raising the consumption tax rate is unavoidable to secure funds to cover the nation's ballooning social security costs.

A Yomiuri Shimbun opinion survey conducted during the DPJ presidential election race found that 52 percent of respondents supported Kan's stance toward the consumption tax, greatly surpassing the 38 percent supporting Ozawa, who took a negative view toward a tax hike. The people apparently want thorough debate over the issue.

However, although Kan called for drastic tax reforms during the DPJ presidential election, he has yet to go further into their vital contents.


Start discussing details

Some DPJ members, such as Ozawa, are stubbornly cautious toward the consumption tax issue. Kan should lead intraparty debate in various settings, including a tax panel that the DPJ has resurrected, while again calling on opposition parties to join a wider discussion.

It is also urgent to lower the nation's corporate tax rate, which is relatively high by world standards. To rejuvenate the Japanese economy, it is essential to enhance corporate vitality and improve competitiveness. Lowering the corporate tax rate is indispensable for that.

With the Finance Ministry concerned about a possible decline in tax revenues, the government's Tax Commission is expected to face tough going. Kan should not simply leave matters to the commission but must exercise leadership and achieve the objective of lowering the corporate tax rate as part of tax system revision for fiscal 2011.

Kan's touchstone for the time being is the fiscal 2011 budget compilation. Budget requests hit record highs, but Japan is mired in an extraordinary fiscal situation in which the government is taking in less through taxes than it borrows through bonds. Therefore, the government can no longer afford to continue handout policies.

The government should compile a finely tuned budget in which, for example, such policies as the child-rearing allowance are boldly reviewed while spending that would help underpin the country's economy is increased.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 19, 2010)
(2010年9月19日01時15分  読売新聞)

New Cabinet must tackle economy first

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 19, 2010)
New Cabinet must tackle economy first
菅改造内閣 まず景気回復に全力を挙げよ(9月18日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Naoto Kan's reshuffled Cabinet was launched Friday.

Kan retained five Cabinet members, including Yoshito Sengoku in the central post of chief cabinet secretary and Yoshihiko Noda, who emphasizes fiscal reconstruction, as finance minister. However, the prime minister made new appointments for the 12 other posts, including those of health, labor and welfare minister and economy, trade and industry minister.

With this major shift in its lineup, the new Cabinet must boldly tackle a number of domestic and diplomatic issues.  内閣の陣容を大幅に入れ替えたのを機に、内政・外交の諸課題の解決に、果断に取り組まなければならない。

First and foremost should be measures to address the rising yen and the flagging economy.

As a result of monetary authorities recently making their first market intervention in 6-1/2 years, the sharp appreciation of the yen has been stemmed for the time being. But there should be no optimism about what is to come.

Finance Minister Noda must make the utmost effort, in close cooperation with the Bank of Japan, to prevent appreciation in the yen's value.


Put growth strategy on track

Kan intends to craft a supplementary budget for this fiscal year that includes additional stimulus measures. Given the uncertain economic outlook, this is a reasonable decision.

It also is essential to have a growth strategy to invigorate private companies and increase their international competitiveness. Cabinet ministers in charge of economic affairs must exercise leadership so the government-launched Council on the Realization of the New Growth Strategy can fully function.

Budget requests made by ministries for the next fiscal year total more than 96 trillion yen, far exceeding this fiscal year's budget. The state's finances are tight, so the budget requests must be reduced. But if that causes the economy to cool down further, the loss to the nation would be even greater.

Regional economies are in dire straits. Funding should be increased for projects that could stimulate the economy and create new jobs. It is important to employ a selective, focused strategy in budget compilation.

It is the handout policy measures included in the Democratic Party of Japan's manifesto for last year's House of Representatives election that must be drastically revised. Little economic benefit can be expected from such measures as child-rearing allowances and toll-free expressways.

To improve fiscal conditions and secure a stable revenue source for social security spending, raising the consumption tax rate is inevitable.

Kan has called for suprapartisan discussions on the consumption tax and social security. He needs to urge opposition parties to start such discussions soon.

In the extraordinary Diet session that is expected to be convened in October, it is vital to obtain cooperation from the Liberal Democratic Party and other opposition parties under the divided Diet, where the ruling camp has a majority in the lower house while the opposition camp controls the House of Councillors.

LDP Secretary General Nobuteru Ishihara has been receptive to the idea of suprapartisan talks. But he maintains they will not take place as long as the DPJ continues its handout measures, and has set revision or withdrawal of these pledges as a condition for beginning suprapartisan talks. This is only natural.

Kan should bring about suprapartisan talks by drastically reviewing the policy pledges. Doing so also would pave the way for the formation of policy-based partial alliances between ruling and opposition parties.

The post of foreign minister was given to Seiji Maehara, who previously served as land, infrastructure, transport and tourism minister. The previous foreign minister, Katsuya Okada, is now DPJ secretary general.


National interests key

Maehara, who is well versed in security affairs, has many personal connections with pro-Japan experts in the United States. He apparently was seen as a good choice to heal the bilateral relations damaged under the administration of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

We expect Maehara to make every possible effort, together with Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa, to realize the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station within Okinawa Prefecture as agreed by the two governments in May.

China has acted in a high-handed manner following an incident in which a Chinese trawler collided with Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels in waters off the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea earlier this month. Maehara has taken a tough stance on China's military buildup ever since his days as head of the DPJ, and we hope that in relations with China he will assert what needs to be asserted, based on careful consideration of this country's interests.

Furthermore, the relationship between the government and political parties must be rebuilt, as must that between politicians and bureaucrats.

The former Hatoyama Cabinet did not have sufficient communications with key members of the ruling party, and its decision-making process was chaotic as policies were approved and then reversed a number of times.

Koichiro Gemba, who doubles as state minister in charge of national policy and chairman of the DPJ's Policy Research Committee, must act as a bridge between the DPJ and the Cabinet.

Non-lawmaker Yoshihiro Katayama was appointed internal affairs and communications minister. Katayama, a former Home Affairs Ministry bureaucrat, worked to increase administrative transparency when he served as governor of Tottori Prefecture, and as a private-sector member of the Government Revitalization Unit, he has actively called for reform of the civil service.

Relations between politicians and bureaucrats under the DPJ-led government always have been awkward. If politicians fail to listen to bureaucrats' opinions and advice and discourage their enthusiasm by misconstruing the true meaning of politician-led government affairs, they will end up with a stagnant administration.

All the Cabinet members must be firmly committed to utilizing bureaucrats in ways that bring out the best of the bureaucrats' capabilities.


Intraparty struggle remains

The reshuffled Cabinet and DPJ leadership do not include anyone from the intraparty group led by former DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa, who lost to Kan in the recent party presidential election.

Many in the Ozawa group are junior lawmakers. Kan intends to appoint a number of Ozawa group members as senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries to establish party unity.

But Ozawa refused to take the post of DPJ acting president offered by Kan. Ozawa apparently is determined to act as an intraparty opposition force, expecting Kan's administration to get bogged down soon or later.

As the seeds of intraparty conflict remain, Kan will have difficulty steering the administration.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 18, 2010)
(2010年9月18日01時33分  読売新聞)


Recently, I’m making comments on the postings of President Obama in facebook. I’ve realized reaction on my comments is quicker than that one in Japan. (It is slower in Japan.) I’m satisfied with the reaction, as I think my posting in English is accepted. Around two years ago, my posting for an American discussion forum was hated and rejected, because of lack of vocabulary in English as well as lack of American and European thinking way. Now it seems to me that I’ve already got rid of the difficulty. It is only concerning about English, but English! I’ve got impressed with the reaction made by foreigners. Thank you very much.
(srachai from khonkaen, thailand)


photo by srachai from OCNフォトフレンド

Coexistence means fighting cultural frictions

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 18, 2010)
Coexistence means fighting cultural frictions
排外主義の台頭 異文化とどう共生していくか(9月17日付・読売社説)

The burqa, an enveloping outer garment, and the niqab, a veil covering the face, are worn by devout Muslim women.

The French legislature has passed a bill banning women from wearing this type of clothing in public places.

The law, prepared by the French government, will take effect in six months unless objections are raised by the Constitutional Council, an organ tasked with examining the constitutionality of laws.

Protagonists of the burqa-niqab ban have said wearing these garments runs counter to the principle of separation of church and state, and to the emancipation of women.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's government has continued to send Roma back to such countries as Romania since summer. His administration is also considering revoking French nationality for immigrants found guilty of committing major crimes.

Sarkozy's strong measures, including his crackdown on Roma communities, are a response to street disturbances by groups of young Roma and immigrants. However, the president continues to be accused of trying to resurrect his slumping popularity through these harsh measures, with a view to being reelected president in 2012.

Violation of EU rules

France's expulsion of Roma, also known as Gypsies, has drawn fire from other European Union nations on the grounds that it violates the rule of freedom of movement within the bloc. However, a majority of French people support the Roma expulsion and burqa ban.

If Sarkozy is merely trying to please the public through his antiforeigner policy, it is a sad commentary on France's national motto of liberty, equality and fraternity.

France is not the only country that apparently has become intolerant of immigrants and other minorities.

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States have led many Americans and Europeans to view Muslims with fear and suspicion.

Recent fiscal crises gripping some European countries, combined with a rise in unemployment, have triggered an even stronger antipathy toward immigrants. This is exemplified by ultrarightist parties making major gains in Dutch and Hungarian elections earlier this year after calling for restrictions on Muslim immigrants and a crackdown on Roma.

Rise in xenophobia

The anti-burqa movement is also gathering momentum in Belgium and Spain. Italy has also has set its sights on expelling Roma.

In early September, a board member of Germany's federal bank was dismissed for repeating racist remarks about Muslim immigrants and Jews. According to a survey, only about 30 percent of Germans thought the banker should be fired.

The rise in xenophobic sentiment also is noticeable in the United States, a melting pot for immigrants. Divisions have deepened among Americans over a plan to build a mosque and Islamic center near New York's Ground Zero. Several days ago, a Florida pastor opposing the mosque construction plan stirred up an international furor when he vowed to burn copies of the Koran.

The ongoing process of globalization obliges people to live with those who adhere to different religious faiths, manners and customs. Japan is no exception.

The coexistence of different cultures also requires efforts by immigrants and other minorities to assimilate into the communities they live in. A society that accepts such minorities must fight cultural frictions that give rise to antiforeigner sentiments.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 17, 2010)
(2010年9月17日01時34分  読売新聞)

China shouldn't stir up anti-Japanese sentiment

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 17, 2010)
China shouldn't stir up anti-Japanese sentiment
尖閣沖漁船衝突 中国は「反日」沈静化に努めよ(9月16日付・読売社説)

China has taken a strikingly hard line over Japan's handling of the recent collisions of a Chinese fishing trawler with two Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels off the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

China has protested five times to Japanese Ambassador to China Uichiro Niwa over the arrest of the trawler's captain. China also unilaterally canceled talks on a pact covering joint gas field development in the East China Sea and a scheduled visit to Japan by Li Jianguo, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

In particular, the summons of Niwa by Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo, a deputy prime minister-level official, in the middle of the night on a holiday flies in the face of diplomatic protocol.

China's postponement of the gas field talks, which has no direct link with the ship collisions, is an overreaction. We strongly urge China to exercise self-restraint.

Japan in the right

The collisions occurred in Japanese waters off the Senkaku Islands, which are inherently Japanese. It is quite reasonable for Japan to deal with illegal activities in these waters in accordance with domestic law.

China is mistaken if it thinks Japan will buckle to China's demands if it plays hardball.

Since the 1970s, China has claimed the Senkaku Islands belong to China. It has instilled this belief among its people through "anti-Japanese patriotism" education since the 1990s.

If Chinese people get the impression that their government is "weak-kneed," it could ignite simmering public discontent over the country's economic disparities and other ills, which could escalate into anger directed at the Chinese Communist Party leadership.

This fear has apparently driven the Chinese government to take a high-handed stance toward Japan over the collisions. But we think Beijing is barking up the wrong tree.

Online bulletin boards in China have been increasingly used to post extreme messages encouraging retaliatory attacks on Japan. Japanese living in China have been harassed, and small metallic balls were fired at a Japanese school building in Tianjin.

Level heads needed

The Japanese government on Monday sent members of the fishing boat crew, except for the captain, back to China, together with the vessel.

We hoped China would applaud this attempt by the Japanese government to take some of the sting out of the situation. However, China has proclaimed the crew and vessel were returned "due to the united action taken by the Chinese government and its people." Beijing has used Japan's gesture to earn brownie points with the public.

This will only inflame "anti-Japanese" sentiment among Chinese people. We urge the Chinese government to defuse such sentiment and prevent a recurrence of the 2005 "anti-Japanese riots."

We also hope the Japanese side will continue to keep a level head. That being said, the government must not hesitate to refute inaccurate Chinese media reports, such as the claim that JCG patrol vessels "crashed into the fishing boat from behind."

The JCG videotaped the fishing boat intentionally colliding with two patrol vessels. However, the JCG has not released the tapes because it might need to submit them as evidence in court should the incident become a criminal case.

If it becomes apparent that the captain was at fault, it may soothe public anger in China. Perhaps making the videotape public would be one way to achieve this.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 16, 2010)
(2010年9月16日01時27分  読売新聞)

unwelcoming fx intervention


photo by srachai from OCNフォトフレンド

jpy/usd fx prospect


Japanese FX Intervention
Wed, Sep 15 2010, 08:53 GMT
by Mitul Kotecha

The Bank of Japan acting on the behest of the Ministry of Finance intervened to weaken the JPY, the first such action since 2004. The intervention came as the USD was under broad based pressure, with the USD index dropping below its 200-day moving average. USD/JPY dropped to a low of around 82.88 before Japan intervened to weaken the JPY. The move follows weeks of verbal intervention by the Japanese authorities and came on the heels of the DPJ leadership election in which Prime Minister Kan retained his leadership.

One thing is for certain that Japanese exporters had become increasingly concerned, pained and vocal about JPY strength at a time when export momentum was waning. However, the move in USD/JPY may simply provide many local corporates with better levels to hedge their exposures.

Time will tell whether the intervention succeeds in engineering a sustainable weakening in the JPY but more likely it will only result in smoothing the drop in USD/JPY over coming months along the lines of what has happened with the SNB interventions in EUR/CHF. As many central banks have seen in the past successful intervention is usually helped if the market is turning and in this case USD/JPY remains on a downward trajectory.

Although the BoJ Governor Shirakawa said that the action should “contribute to a stable foreign exchange-rate formation” it is far from clear that the BoJ favoured FX intervention. Indeed, the view from the BoJ is that the move in USD/JPY is related less to Japanese fundamentals but more to US problems.

Now that the door is open, further intervention is likely over coming days and weeks but for it to be effective it will require 1) doubts about US growth to recede, 2) speculation of Fed QE 2 to dissipate, 3) and consequently interest rate differentials, in particular bond yields between the US and Japan to widen in favour of the USD. This is unlikely to happen quickly, especially given continued speculation of further US quantitative easing. A final prerequisite to a higher USD/JPY which is related to the easing of some of the above concerns is for there to be an improvement in risk appetite as any increase in risk aversion continues to result in JPY buying.

When viewed from the perspective of Asian currencies the Japanese intervention has put Japan in line with other Asian central banks which have been intervening to weaken their currencies. However, Asian central bank intervention has merely slowed the appreciation in regional currencies, and Japan may have to be satisfied with a similar result. Japan’s intervention may however, give impetus to Asian central banks to intervene more aggressively but the result will be the same, i.e. slowing rather then stemming appreciation.

As for the JPY a further strengthening, with a move to around 80.00 is likely by year end despite the more aggressive intervention stance. Over the short term there will at least be much greater two-way risk, which will keep market nervous, especially if as is likely Japan follows up with further interventions. USD/JPY could test resistance around 85.23, and then 85.92 soon but eventually markets may call Japan’s bluff and the intervention may just end up putting a red flag in front of currency markets to challenge.

Published on  Wed, Sep 15 2010, 08:54 GMT

After a bruising battle, Kan faces tough tasks

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 16, 2010)
After a bruising battle, Kan faces tough tasks
菅代表再選 円高と景気対策に挙党態勢を(9月15日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Naoto Kan defeated Ichiro Ozawa, former secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan, by a significant margin in the party presidential election Tuesday following a hard-fought battle that has opened a rift in the party.

The confusion in the party, which followed the major defeat it suffered in the House of Councillors election in July, has effectively created a political vacuum in the nation. It cannot be denied that the situation has caused national policies to stagnate and has smothered the nation's politics in a sense of helplessness.

During the intraparty struggle, the government fell one step behind in dealing with the yen's rapid appreciation and the flagging economy. This was widely noticed.

Kan should immediately form his new Cabinet, appoint new party executives and exert leadership in implementing economic stimulus measures and drafting the fiscal 2011 budget.

Scandal held Ozawa back

Kan's victory, however, owes a lot to the "weak points" of his opponent, Ozawa.

In connection with scandals involving his political funds management organization, his former secretaries were arrested and indicted. He resigned as party secretary general right before the upper house election.

In the party leadership race, former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who was also involved in a politics-and-money scandal and had resigned as prime minister, threw his support behind the DPJ heavyweight. It was a renewed challenge by the Ozawa-Hatoyama duo toward the party leadership, a move that most observers found hard to understand. It was natural that many non-lawmaker party members and registered supporters did not accept them.

In connection with the scandal, an inquest of prosecution committee is scheduled to decide in October--for the second time--whether Ozawa should be indicted in connection with a suspicious land purchase by his political funds management group.

When Ozawa was asked what he would do if the independent panel decides that he merits the indictment and he is prosecuted, he clearly stated he would neither leave the party nor resign as Diet member, indicating that he planned to fight the charges in court.

However, Ozawa has failed to fulfill his responsibility to explain his politics-and-money problems. His remarks undoubtedly aroused opposition and doubt among many party members.

In the end, one factor behind Ozawa's defeat in the presidential election was the possibility that the country might have ended up with a prime minister who was on trial in a criminal case.

Passive support to Kan

However, much of the support Kan received in the presidential election was passive. In other words, many of his supporters apparently did not want to have yet another prime minister barely three months after Kan assumed the post, or the third prime minister within a year.

Kan and Ozawa staged a neck and neck battle for votes by Diet members, suggesting that there are deep-rooted frustrations over the prime minister's management of his administration.

How does Kan intend to handle the divided Diet, in which the ruling bloc controls the House of Representatives while the opposition camp holds a majority in the upper house? And how will he reunite his party, which was split in the presidential election?

During the presidential election campaign, Kan failed to present clear strategies on how to overcome such problems, simply insisting that it would be possible to form a consensus through "careful" and "modest" discussions in the divided Diet.

In a speech after his reelection as party leader, he sought cooperation from party members. "To form a united party in which all party members will be able to fully exert their power now that the game is over and there are no sides, I ask for your support," he said.

If Kan opts for a troika system by appointing Ozawa and Hatoyama to key Cabinet or party posts, it may end up creating a dual power structure, just as in the Hatoyama administration. We urge the prime minister not to repeat that mistake. He must appoint the right people to the right positions to decisively implement policies.

Now that the party leadership race is over, it is anticipated that Ozawa's supporters will intensify moves to shake the administration not only in personnel affairs but also in budget compilation and other policy matters. Some may even try to break away from the party.

The prime minister is highly likely to face difficult political situations, in which he has to confront the Liberal Democratic Party and other opposition parties on one hand while dealing with the "intraparty opposition group" formed by Ozawa's supporters on the other.

In addition, Kan has to deal with a full political agenda.

As for the consumption tax rate hike, the prime minister has toned down his recent stance on the issue compared with what he said in the upper house election campaign. "We'll discuss the future of social security services together with fiscal resources. It'll be important to discuss the consumption tax in that process," he said during the presidential election campaign.

However, if he adopts the "once bitten, twice shy" approach, he will unlikely be able to restore this country's public finances, which is one of his key policies.

The prime minister should expedite efforts to call on the LDP and other parties for suprapartisan negotiations to lay the groundwork for a consumption tax hike in the near future.

Reevaluate election pledges

In the presidential election campaign, Ozawa called for sticking to the pledges the party made for the lower house election last year. However, his defeat indicates that his argument had been rejected.

Japan's fiscal condition is the worst among the major industrialized countries. To meet the fiscal 2010 budget, the government has been forced to issue bonds in an amount greater than its tax revenues. Given the situation, we believe there is no room for the government to continue the handout policies outlined in its manifesto, especially since no economic effects can be expected from such measures.

The government therefore must drastically review the child-rearing allowance program and the plan to make expressways toll-free in the fiscal 2011 budget compilation.

In the middle of the presidential election campaign, the prime minister ordered the relevant government offices to consider lowering effective corporate tax rates, which are high by international standards. The step is necessary to boost Japanese companies' potential power and raise their international competitiveness. The government must put this measure into practice in the tax system reform for the next fiscal year.

As for the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture, Ozawa suggested reviewing the Japan-U.S. agreement reached in May under the Hatoyama administration, exposing the fact that the DPJ is significantly divided over security policies.

As soon as possible, Kan should dispel U.S. concerns that may have been generated by Ozawa's remarks and start full-fledged coordination with Okinawa Prefecture and the United States in line with the Japan-U.S. agreement.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 15, 2010)
(2010年9月15日01時53分  読売新聞)







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18 確認を求めるとき
19 状況を知りたいとき
20 値段の尋ね方と断り方
21 急いでもらいたいとき
22 待ってもらいたいとき
23 日時・場所・天候を尋ねるとき
24 その他

01 あいさつ
02 別れのあいさつ
03 声をかけるとき
04 感謝の言葉と答え方
05 謝罪の言葉と答え方
06 聞き直すとき
07 相手の言うことがわからないとき
08 うまく言えないとき
09 一般的なあいづち
10 よくわからないときの返事
11 強めのあいづち
12 自分について述べるとき
13 相手のことを尋ねるとき
14 頼みごとをするとき
15 申し出・依頼を断るとき
16 許可を求めるとき
17 説明してもらうとき
18 確認を求めるとき
19 状況を知りたいとき
20 値段の尋ね方と断り方
21 急いでもらいたいとき
22 待ってもらいたいとき
23 日時・場所・天候を尋ねるとき
24 その他

01 雨の日にも傘をささないタイ人
02 勉強熱心なタイ人女性たち
03 タイ人は敬謙な仏教徒
04 タイの市場
05 タイの食堂
06 タイ人は外食が大好き
07 果物王国タイランド
08 タイ人の誕生日
09 タイの電話代は高い
10 微笑みの国タイランド



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