首相スピーチ 「日本は買い」を確かなものに

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 29, 2013
Abe must make sure to implement economic growth policies effectively
首相スピーチ 「日本は買い」を確かなものに(9月28日付・読売社説)

The determination of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is trying to advertise Japan overseas to give an additional push to his economic rejuvenation policies, has become very clear. What he must do now is demonstrate his ability to implement policy measures to realize his goal.

Abe, who is visiting the United States, delivered a speech at the New York Stock Exchange and explained his Abenomics economic policies. “Buy my Abenomics,” he said during the speech. The three words symbolize the prime minister’s aim.
 米国訪問中の安倍首相がニューヨーク証券取引所で講演し、経済政策「アベノミクス」を説明した。「Buy my Abenomics(アベノミクスは買いだ)」――。この言葉に、首相の狙いが象徴的に表れている。

Specifically, he emphasized that the government would do its best to create an environment to facilitate investment.

As part of his growth strategy, he said he would push through a “bold tax reduction” to promote proactive investment by companies. He also made clear that he would push regulatory reform to realize economic revitalization.

Corporate tax cuts and deregulation can also be expected to help lure foreign investment to Japan.

Abe must now demonstrate his leadership in implementing his growth strategy, which is now an “international pledge,” and in reviewing various regulations.

During the speech at the NYSE, Abe also publicized Japan’s state-of-the-art technologies.

He emphasized the high levels of safety technology in the nation’s nuclear reactors and said that Japan will “continue to make contributions to the world” with the technology. He also stated that Japan will not abandon its nuclear power generation technology.

He thus clarified his stance of actively utilizing nuclear power plants. For resource-poor Japan, this is an appropriate choice.

He explained that introduction of a high-speed railway system using Japan’s superconducting magnetic levitation technology could connect New York and Washington “in less than an hour.”

Supporting women

Infrastructure exports such as nuclear reactors and railway systems are considered a major pillar of Japan’s growth strategy. Cooperation between the public and private sectors must be reinforced to promote such exports.

During his speech at the U.N. General Assembly, Abe said Japan would positively contribute to the peace and stability of the international community from the standpoint of a “proactive pacifism” based on the recovery of its economic might.

Gaining a greater voice and influence in the international community will likely positively affect the Japanese economy. It is important to generate such a virtuous circle.

It is noteworthy that Abe positioned support of women as one of Japan’s important international contributions and declared Japan would implement official development assistance in excess of $3 billion to that end over the next three years.

Abe also said clearly that he would bring about “a society where women shine.”

Through ODA, Abe explained, Japan will tackle the promotion of women’s active participation in society, improvement of health and medical care for women, and securing the safety of women in times of conflict.

Utilizing the potential of women would also result in economic growth. “Womenomics,” in Abe-speak, should be concretely realized.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 28, 2013)
(2013年9月28日01時30分  読売新聞)

集団的自衛権 「積極的平和主義」を追求せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 28, 2013
Realize right to collective defense in pursuit of ‘proactive pacifism’
集団的自衛権 「積極的平和主義」を追求せよ(9月27日付・読売社説)

This country must make a more proactive contribution to peace and stability in Asia and the world.

A review of the government interpretation of the Constitution concerning the right to collective self-defense is a prerequisite to realizing the new ideal of “proactive pacifism” declared by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Delivering a speech Wednesday in New York on the subject of Japan’s right to collective self-defense, Abe expressed his strong desire to change the Japanese government’s interpretation of the Constitution, in which the government has adopted the view that this country has the right to collective self-defense but is banned from exercising it.

Abe cited two cases in which this constitutional constraint could pose problems. In one scenario, the Self-Defense Forces would not be able to help foreign troops working with the SDF in a U.N. peacekeeping operation even if the foreign troops came under attack. In the other, Japan would not be able to help a U.S. warship operating around Japan if the ship were attacked by an airplane in international waters.

The prime minister rightly pointed out in the speech that “threats see no borders” in the world today. Such menaces as ballistic missiles, the spread of weapons of mass destruction and international terrorist activities, as well as cyber-attacks, have undeniably been increasing.

In addition to enhancing its own defense capabilities, it is essential for this country to enhance the Japan-U.S. alliance, while also expanding cooperation with other countries concerned.

To this end, the task of enabling this country to exercise its right to collective self-defense must urgently be addressed.

In the years immediately after World War II, it was somewhat worthwhile to interpret as strictly as possible the security-related stipulations of the Constitution, restricting the role of the SDF. Today, however, the nation must squarely face up to the reality that rigid interpretation of the supreme law is hobbling efforts to ensure the nation’s security.

Requirements of the times

Over the period from the war’s end to this day, the security environment surrounding the country and the public’s evaluation of the SDF have changed dramatically. A review of the interpretation of the Constitution is definitely in line with the requirements of the times.

In a meeting with reporters later Wednesday, Abe said he was not in favor of a “geographical philosophy of [ruling out action on] the other side of the world.” He also said he weighs “what is closely linked with the people’s life, property and national interests.”

His remarks apparently alluded to concerns being expressed by some regarding constitutional interpretation that Abe may want SDF troops to be dispatched to far-flung locales to fight alongside U.S. forces.

The intention not to impose geographical constraints on the SDF, while deciding flexibly on SDF activities in accordance with developments in events, is quite reasonable.

For instance, it is conceivable that SDF troops could be in charge of removing mines in the Persian Gulf to ensure the safety of sea lanes in the Gulf used by Japan. Should an event occur in which Japanese nationals are once again taken hostage in Africa, SDF troops could be sent to their rescue.

Obviously, there should be some curbs on SDF activities, but it should be noted that accurately foreseeing the possibility of a grave emergency is a near impossibility. To enable this country to cope effectively with a diverse range of emergencies, endeavors to secure a wide range of legal alternatives are the core of national security.

As a matter of practical thinking, whether to have SDF troops actually take part in international operations, and what activities they should engage in, should be the subject of a comprehensive judgment by the government in place when a crisis arises, while appropriate limitations on SDF activities should be ensured through such means as requiring approval by the Diet.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 27, 2013)
(2013年9月27日01時03分  読売新聞)

軽減税率 消費税8%時に導入を目指せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 27, 2013
Introduce reduced tax rate when consumption tax is raised to 8%
軽減税率 消費税8%時に導入を目指せ(9月26日付・読売社説)

If the government would like to soften the public’s feeling of shouldering a burden when it raises the consumption tax rate, it is essential to introduce a reduced tax rate to keep the tax on daily necessities at the current level.

The government and ruling parties must start taking concrete steps toward introducing the reduced tax rate simultaneously with the increase of the consumption tax rate to 8 percent.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reportedly decided to increase the consumption tax rate from 5 percent to 8 percent in April next year. He is now trying to compile a ¥5 trillion-level economic stimulus package to keep the economy from a possible slowdown after the tax rate is raised.

Although the economy has started to pick up, the recovery is not full-fledged. The road to overcoming deflation, for instance, is still unclear. It would be best for the government to shelve the tax rate increase to 8 percent. However, we understand that aiming at introducing an economic package is the second-best option.

That said, we think the measures contained in the package currently being studied by the government to curb a possible downturn in personal spending are insufficient.

The consumption tax has a regressive character, meaning the burden it places on low-income earners is relatively heavy. For this reason, the government is now studying a “simplified benefit plan,” under which it will provide ¥10,000 to ¥15,000 per head in benefits to low-income households, such as those earning too little to have to pay resident taxes.

However, the effects of such a temporary cash provision plan in supporting household finances after the tax hike will be short-lived. It is only reasonable to introduce a reduced tax rate that a wide range of people, including low-income earners, can expect to benefit from.

As part of the economic stimulus package, the government and ruling parties are studying an option of moving ahead the abolition of a special corporate tax for reconstruction by one year. The tax was added to the regular corporate tax to provide a revenue source for reconstruction from the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

Reduce rate for basics

With the investment tax credit, a main pillar of the stimulus package, the government aims at establishing a virtuous cycle by prompting corporate earnings growth, which could in turn result in a pay hike.

Consumers have strongly criticized the measures as preferential treatment of corporations. Also, we are worried that it will take time for the effects of the prop-up measure for companies to reach households.

On the other hand, a reduced tax rate has the advantage of making consumers feel that they are shouldering less of a financial burden in their daily purchases.

The government and ruling parties have been pressing their aim to introduce the reduced tax rates when the consumption tax rate is raised to 10 percent, not when it is raised to 8 percent.

However, a 3 percentage point rise all at once would have a significant impact on household finances. It is important to introduce the reduced rate when the government raises the tax rate to 8 percent and to keep it at the current 5 percent for selected items.

Items subject to the reduced tax rate should be narrowed down to basic food products that are indispensable for daily life, such as rice and miso bean paste, as well as newspapers, which support democracy and print culture, among other things.

European countries have adopted reduced tax rates. Many nations set their value-added tax, the counterpart of Japan’s consumption tax, at about 20 percent. As reduced tax rates have already taken root in these countries, people are more likely to accept high tax rates.

As it is commonly recognized that a tax should not be levied on knowledge, most of these countries made newspapers subject to the reduced tax rate system. Japan must learn from such examples.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 26, 2013)
(2013年9月26日02時28分  読売新聞)

薄被告無期判決 共産党政権の危機感の表れだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 26, 2013
Chinese court’s ruling on Bo indication of Communist Party’s fears for future
薄被告無期判決 共産党政権の危機感の表れだ(9月25日付・読売社説)

The Chinese court ruling on former senior politician Bo Xilai was politically motivated and placed top priority on stabilizing Chinese Communist Party rule. However, public discontent is simmering and there is uncertainty over the country’s future.

The court handed down a life sentence to Bo, a former Politburo member and Chongqing city party leader, who was charged with taking bribes, embezzlement and abuse of power. It is unusual for a former party leader to receive such a severe sentence.

Although China is supposedly ruled by law despite being a one-party state, rulings on important trials are basically decided by the Chinese Communist Party. China has a two-tiered justice system, but it is highly unlikely Bo’s sentence will be overturned, even if he appeals.

The administration of Chinese President Xi Jinping decided to sentence Bo to life in prison apparently to show ordinary Chinese that it would never forgive corruption, even if senior party officials are involved. It also must have been intended to condemn Bo’s demagogic style, which could cause the party’s rule to disintegrate.

When he was party chief in Chongqing, Bo placed priority on the ideal of equality, which the party must have originally touted, and implemented policies to correct disparities, such as constructing affordable housing for the poor.

Bo aimed to join China’s supreme leadership. He had people sing revolutionary songs from the Mao Zedong era to show how much the people supported him.

The Xi administration probably feared that Bo’s style could ignite the people’s frustration against the current situation and lead to a flurry of criticism against the party.

Popularity still high

However, the court only examined the abuse of power charge in connection with Bo’s career as Chongqing party chief. His political style itself was not considered problematic in the ruling.

Bo still has strong public support, particularly among the poor. The Xi administration must have feared that the ruling, if it referred negatively to Bo’s political style, might have unnecessarily riled the public.

The fact that messages posted on the Internet, sympathetic to Bo and opposed to the ruling, were deleted indicates how alert the Chinese authorities were on the matter.

Bo categorically denied the charges and adopted a confrontational attitude. The life sentence apparently was intended to silence Bo and prevent the emergence of “another Bo Xilai,” who would stir up the people.

At around the same time as the trial, the Xi administration launched a corruption probe into senior officials of an oil company linked to former Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, who was said to support Bo. This is aimed at dealing a blow to people linked to Bo and solidifying Xi’s power base.

Xi plans to hammer out economic structural reform measures at the general meeting of the party’s Central Committee scheduled for November.

Corruption and disparity problems will remain even if Bo is out of the picture. How Xi overcomes public discontent will hold the key to the party’s future.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 25, 2013)
(2013年9月25日01時43分  読売新聞)

メルケル氏続投 強い経済へ期待示す独総選挙

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 25, 2013
Merkel’s stunning election victory reflects hopes for strong economy
メルケル氏続投 強い経済へ期待示す独総選挙(9月24日付・読売社説)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc, consisting of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union, scored a stunning victory in the country’s general election Sunday, virtually guaranteeing her a third term.

If she serves out her third term, she will have been in office for 12 years, surpassing the 11 years served by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the first woman to hold that office. Merkel’s tenure would also be the longest ever in Germany.

The bloc’s victory can be attributed to the fact that German voters appreciated her achievements in keeping the German economy on a stable road while the leaders of other European countries were replaced one after another due to fiscal and monetary crises. Her continued term of office will be hailed by the international community, which hopes for a stable business recovery.

Merkel has steered her country, the strongest economic power in Europe, by displaying strong leadership.

The jobless rate, which once topped 10 percent, has been halved under her administration. Exports set a new record in terms of value last year. Merkel has promoted structural reform and deregulation, the agenda she inherited from the previous administration, and reduced the corporate tax rate. These efforts, it may be said, enhanced the international competitiveness of German companies.

Some German voters were deeply unhappy that the country’s financial burden ballooned as a result of its pivotal role in providing financial assistance from the European Union to southern European countries, including financially strapped Greece. However, Merkel’s bloc maintained its top spot during the campaign.

She made tenacious efforts to win over the public by asserting that aiding other European countries to defend the euro was indispensable for the development of the European economy and would serve the national interest of Germany. She was successful in these efforts.

Challenges in 3rd term

Ending the financial crisis in Europe remains the primary agenda to be tackled in Merkel’s third term.

Some southern European countries have complained that Germany’s demand for excessive fiscal austerity as a condition for financial assistance delayed their business recovery.

The eurozone’s structural problems, represented by the fact that it has one currency but fiscal management is conducted separately in each country, remain unsettled. More cooperation will be called for between Germany and other major European countries, including France.

Attention is now focused on how negotiations to establish a stable coalition government will turn out.

The Free Democratic Party, which was the union bloc’s coalition partner before the election, lost its parliamentary seats, making it impossible by a small margin of seats for the bloc to form a government single-handedly. In view of this, the bloc will negotiate with other parties regarding a possible coalition, centering on a grand coalition plan with the Social Democratic Party, which is the second-largest party after the bloc.

To form a grand coalition with the center-left Social Democrats, who support assistance to southern European nations and fiscal union in the eurozone, it will be necessary to iron out policy differences.

Of concern to Japan is that Merkel has not visited this nation since 2008, while she has been keen on bolstering economic relations with China.

In her third term, we hope she will promote an exchange of visits by the prime ministers of the two countries. There must be many subjects to be discussed by the two leaders, including an economic partnership agreement between Japan and the EU and environmental issues.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 24, 2013)
(2013年9月24日01時31分  読売新聞)

新金融検査方針 成長重視で新規融資に弾みを

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 24, 2013
New FSA inspection method must help boost lending to growing firms
新金融検査方針 成長重視で新規融資に弾みを(9月23日付・読売社説)

If the Financial Services Agency limits its activities to pressuring commercial banks to dispose of bad loans, there is little possibility new loans will be extended to firms with growth potential.

The FSA has therefore found it necessary to revise its method of inspecting financial institutions to keep abreast of the times.

The FSA, the government watchdog of banks, brokerages and other financial businesses, recently made major changes in how it inspects and supervises financial institutions.

The focus of the changes lies in amending the conventional approach of examining the financial health of banks with a fine tooth comb to see whether they have nonperforming loans. Instead, it will leave the risk assessment of small-lot loans to small and midsize borrowers to the discretion of the banks.

The way the FSA inspected banks at the time of the financial unrest in the wake of the bursting of the bubble economy could be referred to as a “crisis response method” with priority placed on bad loan disposal. In those days, there were a number of cases such as those depicted in TV dramas in which grim-looking inspectors relentlessly took bank executives to task.

Even now, many banks, fearing FSA’s inspections, remain reluctant to provide loans to small and midsized companies and business ventures.

It is reasonable for the FSA, with a view to improving the current state of affairs which has seen financial services impeded, to shift its inspection method in favor of encouraging growth.

The greater latitude for discretionary judgment on the part of banks means that their management responsibility is heavier.

If banks turn down loan requests from small and midsize companies from now on, they may not be able to use the excuse of not being able to obtain permission from the FSA.

Banks must sharpen their “discerning eyes” to find small businesses with promising futures and competent managers.

Strengthen regional banks

It is essential for banks to adopt lending policies to sectors with high growth potential to make a major contribution to the Abenomics economic growth strategy led by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Regarding inspections of the three megabank groups, including Mitsubishi-UFJ Financial Group, the FSA has decided not to check individual banks on a bank-by-bank basis but to inspect them in a cross-sectional way by setting up expert teams in accordance with key inspection categories such as lending risks and quality of corporate governance.

The new method is aimed at clarifying problems and challenges common to the megabanks to help them improve their management. The megabanks, for their part, should accept suggestions offered through the new inspection method to enhance their international competitiveness.

There is no doubt that the rigorous inspections the FSA put into place in the past contributed to helping stabilize the nation’s financial system by pressing banks to quickly liquidate bad loans that ballooned as a result of the collapse of the bubble economy.

While it is reasonable for the FSA to respect banks’ self-assessment of their assets, the agency must remain vigilant concerning large-lot loans to keep a damper on nonperforming loans.

In this connection, it is noteworthy that the FSA has called on regional banks and similar financial institutions to study the advisability of working out medium- and long-term business strategies over five- or 10-year periods.

As there are too many regional banks—three or four in a single prefecture—there are cases in which some have become financially strapped because of excessive competition.

The Abe administration places great hopes on the financing functions of regional banks and similar local financial institutions remaining robust to reinvigorate local economies.

Regional banks must waste no time in revising their management strategies, including business realignment through mergers or other means with other banks.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 23, 2013)
(2013年9月23日01時35分  読売新聞)

FRB金融緩和 「出口戦略」への難しい舵取り

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 23, 2013
U.S. Federal Reserve Board faces long, difficult road to QE3 exit
FRB金融緩和 「出口戦略」への難しい舵取り(9月22日付・読売社説)

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board has decided not to scale down its monetary “QE3” quantitative easing policy implemented to deal with the financial crisis.

It was a surprise decision for the market as many observers expected the Fed to take the first step of its exit strategy for ending QE3.

However, the path to the exit is not clear. The markets speculate the Fed would scale down its economic stimulus program in December. The central bank will face some difficult maneuvering from here on.

The Fed held a two-day policy meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee and decided to maintain the central bank’s $85 billion (¥8.4 trillion) monthly purchases of the U.S. government bonds, an unusual way to supply funds to the market.

The Fed said it would like to await conclusive evidence on improvement of the economy and employment before deciding to reduce its stimulus.

It has apparently chosen the safer option of ensuring lasting economic recovery rather than rushing for the exit. The U.S. economy has been showing signs of recovery since the annualized growth rate of its gross domestic product increased by 2.5 percent in April-June quarter compared to the previous quarter.

But the employment situation remains a concern. Though the jobless rate dropped to 7.3 percent in August, the number of workers in the nonagricultural sector is still increasing very slowly.

Meanwhile, the central bank is wary of negative effects from the recent hike of long-term borrowing rates. Stymied negotiations between the ruling and opposition parties over the U.S. debt ceiling, which will be exceeded in mid-October, might cast a shadow over economic prospects.

Dialogue with market

New York stock prices soared right after the Fed’s decision to maintain the pace of its QE3 as many investors took heart from the development.

In light of expectations that the Fed would implement its exit strategy, speculative funds were flowing out of emerging economies but have been returning since the Fed’s decision, and fears of an economic slowdown have been alleviated.

If the Fed had acted hastily, it would have had a great impact on the global economy and market, including Japan. The Fed’s wise decision to avoid confusion is praiseworthy.

Nevertheless, it cannot continue the large-scale quantitative easing for good because of such negative effects as excessive funds circulating around the globe, causing asset-inflated bubbles.

The central bank’s stated policy was to start scaling back QE3 by year-end and to terminate it around the middle of next year. Even if it follows this plan, the exit route remains long. The Fed needs to hold dialogues with the market to avoid causing confusion.

Now, attention is focused on who will succeed the current Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, whose term expires at the end of January. U.S. President Barack Obama has given up replacing Bernanke with former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, who had been considered the front-runner for the job.

The field has been narrowed to only a few candidates, including Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen, now considered the favorite. We hope Obama will decide as soon as possible on a successor to Bernanke and try to stabilize U.S. financial policy.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 22, 2013)
(2013年9月22日01時13分  読売新聞)




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コミッショナー 辞任機にNPBの組織改革を

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 22, 2013
Kato’s resignation must lead to NPB’s organizational reform
コミッショナー 辞任機にNPBの組織改革を(9月21日付・読売社説)

The resignation of Nippon Professional Baseball Commissioner Ryozo Kato can be considered inevitable given his responsibility for causing turmoil and losing the trust of baseball fans over the unified ball introduced at his initiative.

Kato’s announcement he would resign in the middle of his term came Thursday. As one reason for his departure, Kato said, “I caused trouble to fans and those concerned” for delaying the announcement that the unified ball’s coefficient of restitution—a fractional value representing the relative speed of an object after a collision divided by its relative speed before an impact—had been increased this season compared to the ball used in the previous season. He said he would leave his post in the latter half of October, before the Japan Series starts.

The pennant race is heading into its final stage. It is regrettable that Kato’s resignation is attracting public attention at a time when professional baseball is entering the season’s most exciting period.

After serving in such diplomatic posts as ambassador to the United States, Kato became NPB commissioner in July 2008. He was expected to utilize the international perspective he cultivated as a Foreign Ministry bureaucrat to develop pro baseball.

Kato strongly pushed for introduction of a unified ball for NPB. The World Baseball Classic and other international baseball championships use balls different from those in Japan.

The introduction of the unified ball, which has specifications close to those used overseas, was intended to enable Japan’s national team players to fully display their abilities in overseas games. The intention behind the move can be considered good.

However, the number of home runs dropped sharply in the 2011 season when the unified ball was introduced. Home runs are a major attraction of baseball, and some fans may have been deprived of their enjoyment.

As a countermeasure, NPB adopted a unified ball with an increased coefficient of restitution this season. But NPB did not disclose the change and asked the manufacturer to keep it secret.

Faulty governance

Why did the change in the specifications of the ball have to be covered up? NPB’s intentions were highly questionable. The change in ball specifications is believed to have had a large impact on players’ batting and pitching techniques. It is no wonder that many players expressed distrust in NPB when the change came to light in June.

Kato said he was not informed of the change in the unified ball’s coefficient of restitution.

If that is the case, it means NPB has a major problem in its governance as an organization, with important information not reaching the top. This was underscored by the fact that NPB’s secretary general, who is supposed to support the commissioner, did not report the change to Kato.

A third-party committee established by NPB is scheduled to compile a report on the unified ball this month. Based on the report, NPB must carry out measures to prevent recurrence and promote organizational reform.

Attention is now focused on who will succeed Kato. We urge the 12 baseball clubs to work together to select the next commissioner, who will assume a heavy responsibility for regaining confidence in NPB and developing professional baseball.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 21, 2013)
(2013年9月21日02時20分  読売新聞)

政労使協議 成長の好循環へ議論深めたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 22, 2013
3 sides urged to discuss ways to achieve virtuous cycle of growth
政労使協議 成長の好循環へ議論深めたい(9月21日付・読売社説)

Pulling the country out of deflation is a goal shared by the government and the labor and business communities. We urge these three sides to deepen discussions and draw up a feasible strategy to establish a virtuous cycle in which wages will rise along with economic growth.

The government proposed launching such three-way talks in its growth strategy unveiled in June, and the three sides held their first meeting on Friday.

The government has taken the rare action of establishing a forum in which it will discuss wages and other labor issues with representatives of workers and employers. This appears to signal that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is determined to lift the Japanese economy from deflation by any means.

During Friday’s meeting, Abe stressed that the government intends to strengthen cooperation with businesses and other sides concerned. “Whether we can establish a virtuous cycle that will boost corporate earnings, increase wages and expand employment is key,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), called on the government to implement support measures for companies. “If conditions are improved so companies can demonstrate their abilities, both employment and wages will grow,” Yonekura said.

The nation’s consumption and manufacturing are recovering, apparently backed by the current administration’s Abenomics economic measures. The Abe administration is expected to face a crucial test as to whether it will be able to help companies’ brisk earnings spill over to households and achieve self-sustaining economic growth driven by the private sector.

End vicious cycle

If inflation rises to 2 percent, the target set by the Bank of Japan, and the consumption tax rate is raised in April as planned, households have to bear a heavier financial burden. Unless wages go up, consumption could slump, possibly leading to an economic downturn.

The issue of individual companies’ wage levels is not on the agenda of the three-way talks, but the development of the talks could affect future labor-management wage negotiations.

In recent years, many labor unions refrained from seeking a rise in overall pay scales during annual spring labor offensives, as they put higher priority on job security. Thus, the Abe administration’s positive stance on wage hikes could become a strong tailwind for labor unions.

After seeing an upturn in their earnings, companies tend to raise bonuses but try to leave basic pay scales unchanged as much as possible, because basic wage hikes are likely to result in fixed cost increases.

This can be regarded as a rational management decision for an individual company. However, lower wages could dent consumers’ appetite for spending, eventually reducing sales of products and services. In the past, such sales slumps have spurred price falls and contributed to worsening deflation.

Japanese companies are estimated to hold about ¥220 trillion in cash and deposits. The firms’ massive reserves are met with criticism, as they appear to make them reluctant to share profits with workers.

The government plans to soon devise its second growth strategy, centering on support measures for companies, such as tax cuts for investments. Public attention will likely be focused on whether employers raise overall wage scales with support from government measures.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 21, 2013)
(2013年9月21日02時20分  読売新聞)









[ はじめに ]

[ 名前 ]
松井 清 (スラチャイ)

[ 略歴 ]
・99/10 タイ全土を旅行
・00/10 タイに移住
・03/07 カイちゃん誕生
・07/06 シーファーちゃん誕生

[ 座右の銘 ]
Slow and steady wins the race.

[ 学習の手引き ]
・Think in English.

seesaa100 英字新聞s HPs





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 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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