《经济学人》:日本经济,使命在身
日期:2011-05-26 10:24

(单词翻译:单击)

Japan's economy
日本经济

On a mission
使命在身

A rare reformist zeal is emerging in post-quake Japan. The government ignores it at the country’s peril
震后日本出现了少见的改革热情。政府不顾国家安危,对此置若罔闻

THERE is something awe-inspiring about the Japanese on a mission. During Golden Week holidays this month, thousands of volunteers helped to sift through the muddy wreckage left by the March tsunami. Stricken roads, bullet trains and factories have returned to normal with astonishing speed. In people’s ardour to rebuild, once-taboo ideas are emerging on how to reform and deregulate not just the damaged areas but the country at large (see article). The government urgently needs to develop a sense of mission, too.

重任在身的日本确实有令人敬畏之处。就在这个月的黄金周假期期间,数千名志愿者帮助清理三月海啸留下的废墟。受灾道路、高铁和工厂都以惊人速度恢复正常运转。与人民的重建热情共同高涨的,还有一度被视为禁忌的观念,即:如何对受灾地区、甚至对全国进行改革,解除管制(见文章)。政府当前也亟需树立使命感。

日本工业生产与过去相比的变动幅度

The combined power of a quake, tsunami and full-scale nuclear accident has jolted whatever sense of complacency the Japanese had about the resilience of their country. The ham-fisted efforts of Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) to stem the crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear-power plant have exposed the company for what it is: an inept monopoly so big it could co-opt or run rings around its regulators. It should be broken up. Meanwhile, the smashed-up fishing fleets and sea-swamped rice paddies in the north-east have prompted discussion on bringing private investment into these heavily protected areas which no longer provide a future for the young. Many are championing the idea of special economic zones in the north-east, which would free the area from the cat’s cradle of rules imposed from Tokyo that hamper free enterprise. All of these are good ideas. But they will wither unless the central government throws its weight squarely behind them.

地震、海啸和大规模核事故的联合效应已动摇了日本人民所谓的对国家应对灾害能力的自负信心。东京电力公司为遏制福岛核电站危机所做出的拙手笨脚的努力充分暴露了公司的本质:一个无能的垄断巨头,它既可以增补管理人员,又可以在处事能力上遥遥领先于管理人员。公司应当解体。同时,日本东北部被摧毁的捕鱼“舰队”和被海水吞噬的稻田引发讨论,要求吸引私人投资进入这些严重保护的领域,因为它们不能再保证年轻人的未来生活。许多人都在提倡在东北部设立经济特区,从而使这一地区摆脱东京制定的各种繁文缛节,因为正是这些妨碍了自由经营活动。以上诸种倡议均是良策。但除非中央政府鼎力支持这些措施,否则它们都将夭折。

For much of the crisis, Naoto Kan, the prime minister, has been a sadly withdrawn figure. Yet when he does show leadership, the public responds. His popularity, though low, rose this month after he unexpectedly pressed for the closure of the nuclear-power plant nearest to Tokyo because it sits on a fault line. He has won plaudits for suspending plans to build more nuclear facilities. No doubt he could do more to accelerate an emergency ??10 trillion ($123 billion) plan for rebuilding damaged parts of the Tohoku region if he were not faced by a “Bring Down Kan” campaign within the opposition and even his own party. But he must get around such pettiness.

在大部分危机时期内,日本首相菅直人一直是悲伤地离群索居的形象。然而当它真正展现号召力时,公众便积极回应。福岛核电站距东京最近,且正处断层线上,菅直人出人意料地施压,关闭了距东京最近的福岛核电站,因为该核电站正处断层线上。菅直人的民意支持率虽然很低,但本月支持率也借此上涨。他也因中止增建核设施而赢得一片掌声。倘若不是遭遇反对党和本党人士发动的“拉菅直人下马”运动,他定能进一步加快10万亿日元(1230亿美元)紧急方案的实施,以用于重建受灾的仙台地区。但他必须处理好这些琐碎杂事。

Carpe Diet
国会之殇

To do so, Mr Kan needs to craft a message as substantial as the challenges Tohoku faces. And he needs debate on it to ring out beyond the corridors of power. There are a few encouraging signs. As TEPCO’s compensation liabilities mount, Mr Kan is airing the once-unthinkable suggestion that it should be broken up. The government may end up on the hook for many of its liabilities, but a break-up could help spur long-overdue deregulation of the energy sector.

为达到此目标,菅直人首相需要传递一条如仙台面临的挑战般切实的信息。他也需发动辩论,使之顺利通过权力走廊。有几个鼓舞人心的消息。随着东京电力公司赔偿责任的增加,菅直人首相公开发表倡议,认为东电公司应解体。这在以前根本无法想象。政府也许最终要为公司承担诸多的责任,但公司解体可推动能源领域长期拖延的解除管制措施的实施。

More broadly, Mr Kan should seize the national mood of solidarity with Tohoku to persuade people to accept difficult reforms. Higher taxes will be needed not just to pay for reconstruction in Tohoku but also to help shore up Japan’s overstretched social-security system. The pension-eligible age, now nearly 65, may have to be raised sharply, too.

从更广大意义上讲,菅直人首相应借助全国人民与仙台人民同心协力的情绪,说服人民接受艰难的改革。增加税收不仅仅是仙台重建所必需的,也是巩固日本覆盖面过广的社会保障体系所必需的。退休金申领年龄线现在接近65,也需要大幅提升。

So far, Mr Kan’s message has been muddy. He has backtracked on an idea to enter talks to create a free-trade area known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, even though the parts-suppliers in Tohoku that have been damaged in the disaster would benefit from freer trade. He has yet to spell out deregulatory proposals that would encourage private companies to invest, in Tohoku and elsewhere.

到目前为止,菅直人首相传递的信息一直含混不清。即使仙台受灾的零件供应商可以受益于自由贸易,他也出尔反尔,反对开展对话、建立泛太平洋伙伴关系自由贸易区。他尚未提出解除管制建议,这些建议将鼓励私人公司投资于仙台及其他地区。

His excuse is politics: with a divided Diet, it is tough to be bold. But that ignores his ability to harness public opinion for the cause. Not for years have good ideas flowed so freely in Japan. But such moods don’t last. Miss this moment, Mr Kan, and Japan will rue it for years to come.

政治成了他的借口:国会分裂,想大胆改革也难。但这种托词忽视了首相发动民众、致力于改革的能力。多年来优秀思想不能像今日在日本自由传播。但这种情绪并不会持续。措施此刻良机,菅直人首相,包括日本,定会抱憾多年。

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重点单词
  • ruen. 懊悔,芸香,后悔 v. 后悔,悲伤,懊悔
  • hampern. 大篮子 vt. 阻止,妨碍
  • craftn. 工艺,手艺,狡诈,航空器,行会成员 vt. 手工制
  • harnessn. 马具,系在身上的绳子,甲胄,安全带 vt. 束以马
  • emergingvi. 浮现,(由某种状态)脱出,(事实)显现出来
  • ineptadj. 不适当的,无能的,笨拙的
  • zealn. 热情,热忱
  • hookn. 钩状物,勾拳,钩 v. 钩住,弯成(钩装),当妓女
  • siftv. 筛撒,纷落,详察
  • reconstructionn. 复兴,改造,再建