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POLITICS

Editorial on outline of TPP policies: Strengthen the strategy to go on offensive

  • 2015-11-27 15:00:00
  • , Sankei
  • Translation

(Sankei: November 26, 2015 – p. 2)

 

 A broad range of policies to promote overseas ventures by small and mid-size enterprises and to strengthen agriculture were included in the government’s outline of TPP-related measures.

 

 While the overall direction of taking advantage of tariff abolition and common rules under the TPP agreement to promote private sector-led economic growth is correct, the important thing is to come up with effective concrete measures.

 

 The government says it intends to review and revise the policies constantly. We hope that it will look closely at the impact of the TPP accord and make every effort to adopt better policies.

 

 It goes without saying that pork barrel spending is unacceptable in this process. Japan will not be able to nurture a strong economy if it leans toward excessive protectionism on the pretext of dispelling the concern of the affected sectors.

 

 It is appropriate that numerical targets have been set for various policies. The measures for achieving these targets should be honed further and improvements should be made while verifying their effectiveness. They should be prioritized and implemented with a clear direction.

 

 Protectionist policies were also included. While certain measures are indeed needed to mitigate the impact of sudden changes brought about by a sharp increase in imports, it will not do to make budget allocations recklessly.

 

 Excessive protectionism runs counter to the TPP’s basic tenet of promoting structural changes for growth. The proper thing to do is to determine the timing and scale of necessary transition measures based on an appraisal of reforms needed for Japan to go on offensive.

 

 The government plans to include spending for the urgent measures in the supplementary budget. However, if priority is given to considerations relating to the House of Councillors election next summer, Japan will not be able to go on offensive.

 

 The private sector should be creative in tapping the benefits of the TPP for growth. The TPP measures are a means to achieve this goal and not an occasion for politicians and bureaucrats to obtain budget allocations to expand their interests. (Abridged)

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