2010/09/23

おいおい菅直人よ

FT.comにて

















日本人としては、相変わらずぱっとしない記事だな。。。。。
(日本より10倍くらいましですけど)

と思いながら、読んでいたのですが、やはり

set a course to sustainable public finances and restore stability to ties with the US and China.

というところで、ものすごい違和感を感じたんですが。。。。。。。。
まぁ、本人がこう言ったとすると大問題だし、発言を記者に咀嚼されたうえで
こう書かれたとしたら馬鹿にしているとしか思えない。

って考えすぎですかね。。。。。。。

tieって、、、、、、、、
せめて、

cope with a blatant form of Chinese or United State government

的な ニュアンスが正解だと思ってるんですが。。。。。。

っと、またどうでもいいことを言ってしまった。。。。。ぐはっ





一応引用しておきます

In just three months as Japan’s prime minister, Naoto Kan has seen his government suffer devastating defeat in an upper house election, fought off aleadership bid by a heavyweight rival from his own party and grappled with global currency markets. Now comes the hard part.


To rescue the “revolution” heralded by his Democratic party of Japan last year, after it overturned an all but unbroken half-century of conservative rule, Mr Kan is under pressure to demonstrate quickly that he can shore up a fragile economic recovery, set a course to sustainable public finances and restore stability to ties with the US and China.


Not least, he must find a way to push DPJ legislation through a Diet whose upper house has been dominated since July’s election by fiercely hostile opposition groupings – in particular the formerly long-ruling Liberal Democratic party.


It is a daunting list. Failure would deepen fears that Japan is at risk of slipping into international irrelevance, a relative decline symbolised by China’s usurpation this year of the title of the world’s second-largest economy.
In his first full interview to any news organisation as occupant of Tokyo’s elegant prime ministerial residence, however, Mr Kan gives no sign of feeling dismayed. Instead, he lays out his plans to implement a strategy to raise Japan’s anaemic growth rate and to build cross-party consensus on how to pay for fast-growing welfare costs in one of the world’s most rapidly ageing societies.
Mr Kan has reasons for confidence. The challenge to his leadership from Ichiro Ozawa, the DPJ’s influential “shadow shogun”, underlined divisions within the ruling party. But it also dramatically boosted the popularity of the prime minister, whom the public vastly prefers to the haughty and scandal-plagued Mr Ozawa. After a reshuffle last week, the proportion of voters backing Mr Kan’s cabinet climbed to 64 per cent, according to a poll by Kyodo news agency.
Now, a revitalised Mr Kan must grapple with the aftermath of Japan’s surprise sale of Y2,000bn ($24bn) in currency markets last week, as well as a worsening territorial dispute with China and worries that weakening global growth could derail the export-driven economy.
He can certainly bring a new perspective to the task. Most Japanese leaders in recent times – including Yukio Hatoyama, the DPJ’s hapless first prime minister – have been the scions of political or business dynasties. Mr Kan, by contrast, is a former social activist from what is commonly described as an “ordinary salaryman’s family”.
This break-the-mould prime minister has won domestic credit for the initial success of Japan’s dramatic solo intervention in the foreign exchange market, which eased the pressure felt by exporters from the strong yen by weakening the currency by more than 3 per cent against the dollar in a matter of hours. Though some politicians in the US and Europe have been critical of the decision to intervene unilaterally, Mr Kan makes clear his government will continue to act against “drastic changes” in the yen rate, while also seeking economic and monetary policies that will weaken the currency.
“There is a need for policies that will in total act to suppress the tendency towards a strong yen,” he says.
Pushing down the yen should go some way to preserving Japan’s recovery from its worst postwar recession. Continued growth in the economy is a prerequisite to any progress on an issue that Mr Kan has made a top priority since his elevation from finance minister in June: reining in the state’s soaring debt.

His willingness openly to discuss a possible doubling of Japan’s 5 per cent consumption tax in two or three years was widely seen as a factor in the DPJ’s drubbing in the upper house election. But the prime minister is still determined to find new sources of revenue as gross state debt soars towards an extraordinary 200 per cent of gross domestic product.
With social security costs rising by Y1,000bn a year, Japan needs to make a “major choice” between better welfare and higher tax or a US-style system where people are expected to look after themselves more, he says, adding: “I think that most Japanese want a future society where there is security for children and the old, even if it means taking on a somewhat greater burden.”
Yet the prime minister recognises that raising the consumption tax – widely seen as the only way to meet Mr Kan’s target of a balanced primary budget by 2020 – remains a political landmine. His strategy is to try to launch discussions with opposition groups about measures that include a consumption tax increase alongside other options, in the hope of achieving a cross-party agreement that would make legislation possible and implementation politically feasible.
The approach might sound like a recipe for dangerous delay, especially given Mr Kan’s repeated warnings that Japan risks a Greek-style fiscal disaster if it fails to rein in its debt. But he says he has no choice but to try to build consensus. “Discussion is essential. In Japan there is an expression: isogaba maware – make haste by going around. “By taking the long way around we can get there faster than if we tried the direct approach.”
Much will depend on whether opposition groups including the LDP – ousted from government in August last year – are willing to co-operate. So far the prospects do not look good, says Gerry Curtis, an expert on Japan at Columbia University. “Just as President [Barack] Obama is finding in Washington, the opposition don’t want to give the prime minister anything he can claim as a victory,” Prof Curtis says. “So – gridlock.”
Still, Mr Kan’s refusal to buckle in the face of electoral defeat and party revolt suggests he is made of sterner political stuff than many holders of a “revolving door” prime ministership that spat out his four immediate predecessors in a year or less. His rise from a relatively humble background speaks of energy and determination. Many voters find him a refreshing change from the stuffy elite and his record as a sign of genuine ideals.
During a stint as health minister in the 1990s, he successfully took on bureaucrats who had tried to cover up the government’s role in the infection of 1,800 haemophiliacs with blood contaminated by the HIV virus. His earlier record even suggests a potential for inventive solutions: as a student he patented an electronic mah-jong score calculator.
But not everyone is impressed by Mr Kan’s performance since midyear. A wavering in July on how the government might soften the impact on lower-income groups of a mooted rise in consumption tax was seized on as showing a weak grasp of policy. Even some associates say his focus on fiscal issues suggests he was “brainwashed by the bureaucrats” during five months at the ministry of finance. While he shows flashes of humour in conversation and at public events, his downbeat manner also makes him an often less than inspirational figure.
Jiro Yamaguchi, a political scientist at Hokkaido University who has close ties to the DPJ, observes that Mr Kan “looked dead” for nearly two months after his election setback, before being livened up by Mr Ozawa’s attempt to oust him. “I’m rather sceptical about his leadership,” Prof Yamaguchi says.
Mr Kan should benefit from the government’s growing experience in office and consequent ability to take more of the initiative. The LDP’s long grip on power meant all but a handful of DPJ ministers had to learn on the job. The prime minister himself says he aims to replace the “trial-and-error cabinets” of the DPJ’s first year in government with a cabinet finally able to “turn words into action”.
Effective implementation will be vital when it comes to a strategy intended to rescue the nation from chronic deflation and double the long-term real growth rate to 2 per cent by 2020. Mr Kan says his government is putting its “greatest energy” into making this work, which includes supporting the development of high-potential sectors such as health and agriculture while cutting corporate taxes.
“I think the sluggishness of economic growth in these [past] 20 years is a major reason for the decline in Japan’s international status or power,” he says.
It is a verdict that few would challenge. Yet reviving GDP growth will be no easy matter given the headwind created by a fast-declining working population. Nor will suppressing the yen – which in trade-weighted real terms is not even very high – do much to promote the expansion of domestic demand that is needed to reduce Japan’s reliance on exports.
But some see the source of the nation’s problems in a more general malaise – a loss of the energy and drive that fuelled its recovery from the radiation-laced rubble of the second world war into what is still one of the planet’s richest and most successful societies.





0 件のコメント:

コメントを投稿