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    日本銀行高管:經歷了失去的三十年后,日本經濟正走向復蘇

    Nobuyuki Hirano 2019年08月05日

    平野信行寫道,停滯了幾十年的日本經濟正在復蘇,與美國的關系發揮了關鍵作用。

    日本田原市的海上日出。圖片來源:Matt Roberts—Getty Images

    今年,日本因為兩件事情吸引了全世界的關注。一是今年5月的日本皇太子德仁繼位,日本進入“令和”時代,意為“美麗和諧”。二是今年6月首次在日本舉行的G20峰會。

    這兩個代表性事件提升了日本的國際社會影響力,而且引發關注的時間也再合適不過。在地緣政治存在不確定性以及全球經濟秩序面臨越來越大的風險之際,日本經濟及其與美國的特殊關系在歷史上已有先例,而且對其他尋求經濟發展的國家來說很有幫助。

    從20世紀90年代初開始,日本經濟陷入長期衰退。首先經歷了長時間的壞賬和通縮,隨后又遇到了一系列結構性問題,包括生產率低下、出生率低以及人口老齡化。所有這些帶來了人口結構方面的挑戰,比如勞動力短缺和對未來失去信心。但在過去幾年,日本實現了二戰以后持續時間最長的經濟增長。

    日本是怎樣應對這些挑戰并保持韌性的呢?答案是它將解決社會問題的內向型措施和鼓勵經濟關系,尤其是和美國經濟關系的外向型措施結合了起來。

    先說說內向型措施。需要應付老齡化問題的不只是日本。人口老齡化是一個影響當今就業人群結構的全球現象。日本在通過科技應對老齡化方面一直走在前列,這些科技包括數字化等,其目的是提高勞動生產率,促進效率并最終實現經濟持續發展。

    同時,日本政府和行業龍頭一直在努力通過多種渠道建立和其他國家相連的橋梁,包括制定政策、提出倡議以及積極參加各種國際性論壇。其目的在于幫助構建開放和自由創業的國際環境,從而促進全球經濟增長,并最終惠及日本及其國際合作伙伴。日本和美國的合作一直是其中的關鍵,而兩國合作的基礎是在民主、人權、自由貿易和互信方面的共同價值觀。

    日美關系是世界上互惠程度最高的雙邊關系之一。它不只限于貿易。實際上,日美關系覆蓋了范圍非常廣的雙邊投資。

    今天,日本公司在美國市場的業務規模相當大,投資也很多。美國是日本2018年對外直接投資最大目的國。而2017年,日本排在英國之后,是美國外商直接投資第二大來源國,當年日本在美國的累計投資總額為4690億美元,其中90億美元來自于摩根士丹利和我擔任總裁的三菱日聯金融集團的戰略合作。

    日本公司已經成為美國經濟格局中不可或缺的一部分。它們直接為86.06萬美國人提供了理想工作,平均年薪達到8.9萬美元。與之類似,許多美國公司也將日本視為北美以外的最重要市場,而且美國不光是日本的外商直接投資最大來源國,其投資規模也遠超其他國家。

    正在進行的日美貿易談判應該鞏固兩國關系并推動兩國經濟出現更強勁的增長。除了日本汽車行業牽頭增加對美國制造業的投資,三菱日聯還預見到兩國合作對其他行業的有利影響。

    舉例來說,頁巖氣革命對美國能源行業來說代表著增強液化天然氣生產和運輸能力的機會。這吸引了三菱日聯等已經大舉投資于多個液化天然氣項目的日本公司。

    旨在實現交運系統現代化并讓城市進化為“智慧城市”,從而高效管理資產和資源的社會基礎設施項目是兩國合作的另一領域。比如說,日本和美國公司正在令人興奮的“新移動性”領域進行金融、技術以及其他類型的合作。無論是通過發展無人駕駛汽車和飛行出租車,推出拼車服務,還是通過把氫氣作為低碳交運燃料來源,目的都是進行我們所知的交運革命。

    對印太及以外地區其他尋求經濟發展和繁榮的國家來說,日本和美國的密切關系仍然是一個典范。(財富中文網)

    平野信行(Nobuyuki Hirano)是三菱日聯金融集團總裁、日美經濟協議會會長以及日本經濟團體聯合會副會長。

    譯者:Charlie

    審校:夏林

    The world has recently seen two reasons to fix its attention on Japan. In May, Emperor Akihito’s elder son, Naruhito, ascended the throne, marking a new era in Japan known as “reiwa”—Japanese for “beautiful harmony.” And June’s G20 Summit was the first to be hosted in Japan.

    These two emblematic events have raised Japan’s profile in the international community—and such attention could not have come at a more appropriate time. Amid geopolitical uncertainty and rising risks to the global economic order, Japan’s economy and its special relationship with the U.S. offer historical parallels and useful lessons for other nations seeking economic advancement.

    Starting in the early 1990s, Japan was in an extended economic slump. It first endured a prolonged period of bad debt and deflation. Then it began to face a range of serious structural problems including poor productivity, low birth rates, and an aging population—all of which led to demographic challenges such as labor shortages and a loss of confidence in the future. Over the past several years, however, Japan has embarked on its longest period of sustained economic expansion in the post-World War II era.

    How did Japan confront these challenges and remain resilient? The answer is that it combined inward-facing measures to tackle societal problems with outward-facing measures to encourage economic relationships—especially with the U.S.

    Let’s start with the inward. Japan isn’t alone in coping with a growing number of elderly citizens. Population aging is a worldwide phenomenon affecting the composition of today’s workforce, and Japan has been at the forefront of efforts to address it through technology—such as digitalization—to raise labor productivity, promote efficiency, and eventually bring about sustainable economic development.

    Meanwhile, Japan’s government and industry leaders have been hard at work to build bridges to other nations in various ways, including through policy-making, advocacy, and active participation in various international forums. Their aim is to help cultivate a global environment of openness and free enterprise that fosters worldwide economic growth and ultimately rewards both Japan and its international partners. The lynchpin of this effort has been Japan’s partnership with the U.S., which is based on shared values of democracy, human rights, free trade, and mutual trust.

    The relationship between these two nations is among the most mutually beneficial in the world. But it is not limited to trade. Actually, it spans a vast range of mutual investment.

    Japanese companies today command a sizable presence and embody a heavy investment in the U.S. market. The U.S. was Japan’s top destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2018. In the prior year, Japan was America’s second-largest source of FDI after the U.K., and its cumulative investment in the U.S. totaled $469 billion—$9 billion of which was represented by the strategic alliance between Morgan Stanley and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), where I serve as chairman.

    Japanese companies have become an integral part of the American economic landscape. They directly employ 860,600 Americans in quality jobs that pay an average annual salary of $89,000. Similarly, many U.S. companies view Japan as one of their most important markets outside North America, and the U.S. is Japan’s largest source of FDI by far.

    The ongoing Japan-U.S. trade negotiations should strengthen relations and spur even greater economic development in both countries. Apart from the additional investment in U.S. manufacturing led by Japan’s automobile industry, we at MUFG foresee other industrial benefits from cooperation between the two nations.

    For example, the shale-gas revolution presents opportunities for the U.S. energy sector to enhance its capability to produce and transport liquefied natural gas (LNG). This is attracting Japanese companies, such as MUFG, that have invested heavily in several LNG projects.

    Social infrastructure projects—designed to modernize transportation systems and develop urban areas into “smart cities” that can efficiently manage assets and resources—are another area of cooperation between the two countries. For instance, Japanese and U.S. companies are forging financial, technological, and other types of alliances in the exciting field of “new mobility” with the aim of revolutionizing transportation as we know it—whether through the development of autonomous vehicles and flying taxis; the introduction of ride-sharing services; or the use of hydrogen as a low-carbon source of transport fuel.

    Japan’s close relationship with the U.S. remains a model for other nations seeking economic development and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region—and beyond.

    Nobuyuki Hirano is the chairman of MUFG and of the Japan-U.S. Business Council, as well as vice chairman of the Japan Business Federation.

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