日本の経済 投石器と矢 有害な増税と無口な経営者は大損害を被る(2)

Meanwhile, Mr Abe has been slow to fire his third arrow. Overhauling social spending and making the labour market more flexible would help spur firms to invest at home and lift wages. Tackling Japan’s demographic problems head on, by encouraging both immigration and procreation, is also a must.


All now hinges on whether the economy rebounds in the current quarter. Private economists are forecasting annualised growth of 4%. Yet soggy summer weather has already dampened retail sales and car purchases are still low. A rare piece of good news was that total wages for permanent employees jumped by 2.6% year-on-year in July, the fastest pace in 17 years, as companies have raised bonuses. There are also some signs that firms are starting to hire more permanent workers as well as cheaper, temporary staff.

hinge on:次第である

Unless growth continues to disappoint, Mr Abe will probably stick with a second scheduled rise in the consumption tax, from 8% to 10%, in October of next year. A reversal might stir alarm about Japan’s huge public debt, which stands at more than 240% of GDP. Another tax rise, however, combined with continued sluggish growth, would deepen the public’s disapproval of Abenomics, says Naohiko Baba of Goldman Sachs, a bank. Mr Abe’s poll ratings could fall, lowering his chances of winning parliamentary approval for third-arrow reforms.


Meanwhile, the BoJ is still well short of its inflation target of 2% (after stripping out the effects of the tax rise). Upward pressure on prices is expected to abate in the coming months as the effect of the weaker yen wears off. The bad news of recent weeks has added to expectations that the bank will announce another round of QE in the autumn. The answer to the disappointing results of Abenomics thus far may simply be more Abenomics.

wear off:こすれて徐々に消える
thus far:今までのところは


swingby_blog at 07:54コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


日本の経済 投石器と矢 有害な増税と無口な経営者は大損害を被る


Japan’s economy
Slings and arrows
A harmful tax hike and reticent employers take their toll
Sep 13th 2014 | TOKYO | From the print edition


Looking for the third arrow

IT IS crisis mode in the Kantei, the office of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister. A succession of awful data has pummelled his economic programme, which consists of three “arrows”: a radical monetary easing, a big fiscal stimulus and a series of structural reforms. On September 8th revised figures showed that GDP shrank by 1.8% in the second quarter, or by 7.1% on an annualised basis, even worse than the initial estimate of 1.7%.

shrink by:だけ縮小する

Architects of Abenomics had issued dire warnings against raising the consumption tax from 5% to 8% in April. The increase, aimed at improving Japan’s parlous finances, was decided in 2012 under a previous government. As in 1997, the last time politicians dared to raise the tax, consumer spending has wilted. 


The government also misjudged the effects of the Bank of Japan’s huge asset purchases (quantitative easing, or QE, in the jargon). It is buying \7 trillion ($65 billion) of Japanese government bonds a month, and now owns a fifth of the government’s outstanding debt. A weaker yen, one of QE’s chief consequences, has failed to produce the boom in exports that the government had assumed would help offset the harm done by the consumption-tax hike. 

That, in turn, is because the trend among big firms to move production overseas has accelerated of late. In a few years Japanese carmakers will be making more vehicles elsewhere in Asia than at home. The waning appeal of electronic gadgets from the likes of Sony, Panasonic and Sharp has also weighed on exports. And many firms have unhelpfully opted to use much of the extra revenue from the yen’s weakness to pad profit margins instead of lowering their prices abroad to boost their market share, which would have benefited domestic suppliers. 

of late:最近の

At home, despite healthy earnings, a tight labour market and months of hectoring by the government, big firms have fattened their employees’ pay-packets only marginally. Workers’ basic pay has been edging up by less than 1% year-on-year. After accounting for inflation (chiefly due to the tax increase), base salaries are falling by around 3% a year. Small wonder, then, that consumer spending has slumped. 

small wonder that:だとしても驚くには当たらない


swingby_blog at 08:10コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



And now, to compound the waste of money, with our air offensive we are essentially paying to blow up millions of dollars of our own equipment that we left behind in Iraq, as Jason Fields wrote for Reuters last month. 


As Fields puts it:
“And Islamic State’s captured an enormous amount of U.S. weaponry, originally intended for the rebuilt Iraqi Army. You know — the one that collapsed in terror in front of the Islamic State, back when they were just ISIL? The ones who dropped their uniforms, and rifles and ran away? They left behind the bigger equipment, too, including M1 Abrams tanks (about $6 million each), 52 M198 howitzer cannons ($527,337), and MRAPs (about $1 million) similar to the ones in use in Ferguson.” 

Fields continues:
“Now, U.S. warplanes are flying sorties, at a cost somewhere between $22,000 to $30,000 per hour for the F-16s, to drop bombs that cost at least $20,000 each, to destroy this captured equipment. That means if an F-16 were to take off from Incirlik Air Force Base in Turkey and fly two hours to Erbil, Iraq, and successfully drop both of its bombs on one target each, it costs the United States somewhere between $84,000 to $104,000 for the sortie and destroys a minimum of $1 million and a maximum of $12 million in U.S.-made equipment.” 


We are doing this at a time when many of our roads and bridges are crumbling beneath us. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that we need to invest $3.6 trillion in infrastructure by 2020. 


The Department of Agriculture released a report this month saying that the percentage of Americans who are “food insecure” (lacking “access to enough food for an active, healthy life”) has remained relatively unchanged (14.3 percent) since the numbers spiked during the recession in 2008. 

And yet, in February, the 2014 Farm Bill was signed into law, a bill that will, according to MSNBC, “cut $8.7 billion in food stamp benefits over the next 10 years, causing 850,000 households to lose an average of $90 per month.” 

We are still arguing about the cost of the Affordable Care Act and Republicans are still wasting time and money trying to repeal it. 


We, as Americans, must think long and hard about what it will really mean for us to engage in another foreign war and weigh that against the urgent needs we have right here at home.


swingby_blog at 08:57コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



The president said that his plan “will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.” But this seems a hard thing to completely guarantee. It seems reasonable to worry that it could lead to at least some American boots on the ground and some American blood soaked into it. 


The president did, however, say: 
“We will send an additional 475 service members to Iraq. As I have said before, these American forces will not have a combat mission — we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq.” 

drag into:巻き込む

But missions creep, wars get foggy and the very definition of victory can become elusive. 


And need I remind you, we’ve been here before, worked up into a patriotic tizzy, fears stoked and muscles flexed. Although nothing may soon rival the staggering deception and disaster of the Iraq war, it still stands as our most recent and most instructive lesson about committing to armed conflict. George Bush and Dick Cheney are in a category of their own. 

staggering:衝撃的な よろめく

When we invaded Iraq in 2003, about three out of four Americans approved of President Bush’s handling of the situation, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll. Three years later, that approval had fallen by half. 

We don’t want to look back three years from now and ask, “What have we done?” 

An ABC News poll in early March of 2003 found that most Americans believed the Iraq war would last several months at most — it officially lasted nearly nine years — and nearly eight in 10 thought Iraq posed a direct threat to the United States at the time. 

at most:せいぜい

And the cost of that war, particularly in death toll, was staggering. 


According to the website Iraqbodycount.org, more than 4,800 members of United States and coalition forces were killed between 2003 and 2013, as well as 468 contractors. 

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted the month we invaded found that nearly seven in 10 Americans thought the final result of the Iraq war would be that we would “win,” whatever that meant. Most Americans also thought that we should do everything we could to minimize Iraqi civilian casualties. 

And while it is not clear how many civilian deaths resulted solely from United States military action in that country, Iraqbodycount.org puts the total number of Iraqi civilian deaths “from violence” since 2003 as high as 144,000. 

Furthermore, a March 2013 study estimated that the financial cost of the Iraq war could be more than $2 trillion. 

木曜日。今日はこれまで。昨日はイメルダ夫人の妹の旦那のチチョスとの夕食が都合が悪くなり、彼とは午前中に会うことができた。昼はミンダナオの大富豪Jonny Dominoと彼のお嬢様との会食。ホテルに帰るまで渋滞で2時間半もかかった。昨晩は自由になり、仕事ができた。今日は昼には太陽日酸の石川さんと会食。夜はいよいよASEANの会合が始まる。ではまた明日。

swingby_blog at 09:10コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


マレーシアの政治 彼らに勝つことができないのなら、告発しろ。 首相が廃止を約束した時代遅れの法律が彼に醜い復帰をさせてしまう。(3) 戦争の費用

Some believe that Mr Najib’s foot-dragging on repeal, as well as the sedition charges, are a response to pressure from the right wing of his own party—particularly from Mahathir Mohamad, a former prime minister who publicly withdrew his support for Mr Najib on August 18th, one day before the first sedition charge was filed against Mr Surendran. But, in pandering to the right, Mr Najib risks tarnishing his own reformist image. It is hard to be the face of progress and moderation while leading a government that seeks to jail its critics. 


Correction: In the original version of this article we mistakenly identified Ambiga Sreenevasan as the chairwoman of Bersih. She no longer holds this post, having been replaced in November 2013 by Maria Chin Abdullah. Our apologies to both. 


The Cost of War
SEPT. 10, 2014
Charles M. Blow


Wednesday night, during a prime-time speech, the president laid out his plan for dealing with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS.

He made clear that “while we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland,” he still “will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.” 

He called it “a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy” and not a war. Yet, for all practical purposes, a war seems to be what it will be. 

And most Americans, before the speech, seemed to be on board if not leading the way. 

on board:一緒に乗って

According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll published Tuesday, a vast majority of Americans see ISIS as a threat to the United States, a slight majority believe the president hasn’t moved aggressively enough, and most support expanding United States airstrikes into Syria. 

But I implore the president and the nation to proceed with caution. 


We can kill anti-American fighters and even their leaders, but we can’t kill anti-American sentiment. To some degree, every time we commit our forces in the Middle East we run the risk of further inflaming that sentiment. 


For every action, there is a reaction. And there are also consequences, some of them unintended. 


swingby_blog at 11:34コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


マレーシアの政治 彼らに勝つことができないのなら、告発しろ。 首相が廃止を約束した時代遅れの法律が彼に醜い復帰をさせてしまう。(2)

Since August 26th three opposition parliamentarians have been charged with sedition for making statements critical of the government. Most notable of them is N. Surendran, an MP who is also a lawyer defending Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, against charges of sodomy. Mr Surendran was charged over a press release he issued last April that called an appellate-court judgment against Mr Anwar “flawed, defensive and insupportable”, and for an online video in which he said that the sodomy charges against Mr Anwar were “an attempt to jail the opposition leader of Malaysia” for which “we hold Najib Tun Razak [Malaysia’s prime minister] personally responsible.” 

MP:Member of Parliament 《英》下院議員、国会議員
appellate court:上訴裁判所 発音はuh-pel-it
hold one responsible for: 〜を〜の責任を負うべき人物であると見なす

In addition, Rafizi Ramli, a senior opposition politician, was investigated for sedition but charged with insult and provocation in a manner likely to disturb the peace for alleging that Mr Najib’s party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), sowed religious discord for political gain. On August 25th Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, another politician, was charged with defaming Mr Najib in a speech two years earlier. And on September 2nd the dragnet widened: Azmi Sharom, a law professor, was charged with sedition for remarks made about a governance crisis five years ago in the state of Perak. None of these statements is seditious, in the usual sense, in that none of them advocated the government’s overthrow. 

religious discord:宗教紛争

Yet Malaysia’s sedition law is almost comically broad. It defines seditious statements as any that “excite[s] disaffection…against any Government” or “against the administration of justice in Malaysia” or “promote[s] feelings of ill will and hostility between different races or classes of the population in Malaysia”. It is also selectively enforced. Mr Ramli’s remarks triggered a sedition investigation, whereas those made by UMNO’s vice-president reportedly calling ethnic-Chinese Malaysians “ungrateful” and accusing non-Malays of “insulting Islam and the Malays under the pretence of democracy” did not. 

excite :引き起こす

Ambiga Sreenevasan, a human-rights advocate and former chairwoman of Bersih, a coalition of groups advocating free and fair elections, accuses the government of using the Sedition Act to “assert power over the people and to create a climate of fear. And it’s working.” Those charged could eventually prevail in court, but they face long trials and possibly multiple appeals. Mr Surendran believes the charges against him were intended to make it more difficult for him to defend Mr Anwar. He says he has been “bogged down” while preparing for trial, and says the charges are “part of a wave of repression”. 

prevail in:に蔓延する
bog down:行き詰まる

In 2012 Mr Najib promised to repeal the Sedition Act. He intends to replace it late next year with legislation that, in the vague words of a government spokesman, “promotes national harmony whilst protecting Malaysian citizens from racial or religious hatred.” Fears of racial discord run deep in multicultural Malaysia, as they do in Singapore. Hundreds of Chinese and Malays died during communal violence in 1969. But Ms Sreenevasan believes the government “plays to those fears…the only way they can hold onto power is by dividing people.” 

play to:を狙う
hold onto power:権力を持ち続ける


swingby_blog at 16:19コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



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