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日本银行高管:经历了失去的三十年后,日本经济正走向复苏

Nobuyuki Hirano 2019年08月05日

平野信行写道,停滞了几十年的日本经济正在复苏,与美国的关系发挥了关键作用。

日本田原市的海上日出。图片来源:Matt Roberts—Getty Images

今年,日本因为两件事情吸引了全世界的关注。一是今年5月的日本皇太子德仁继位,日本进入“令和”时代,意为“美丽和谐”。二是今年6月首次在日本举行的G20峰会。

这两个代表性事件提升了日本的国际社会影响力,而且引发关注的时间也再合适不过。在地缘政治存在不确定性以及全球经济秩序面临越来越大的风险之际,日本经济及其与美国的特殊关系在历史上已有先例,而且对其他寻求经济发展的国家来说很有帮助。

从20世纪90年代初开始,日本经济陷入长期衰退。首先经历了长时间的坏账和通缩,随后又遇到了一系列结构性问题,包括生产率低下、出生率低以及人口老龄化。所有这些带来了人口结构方面的挑战,比如劳动力短缺和对未来失去信心。但在过去几年,日本实现了二战以后持续时间最长的经济增长。

日本是怎样应对这些挑战并保持韧性的呢?答案是它将解决社会问题的内向型措施和鼓励经济关系,尤其是和美国经济关系的外向型措施结合了起来。

先说说内向型措施。需要应付老龄化问题的不只是日本。人口老龄化是一个影响当今就业人群结构的全球现象。日本在通过科技应对老龄化方面一直走在前列,这些科技包括数字化等,其目的是提高劳动生产率,促进效率并最终实现经济持续发展。

同时,日本政府和行业龙头一直在努力通过多种渠道建立和其他国家相连的桥梁,包括制定政策、提出倡议以及积极参加各种国际性论坛。其目的在于帮助构建开放和自由创业的国际环境,从而促进全球经济增长,并最终惠及日本及其国际合作伙伴。日本和美国的合作一直是其中的关键,而两国合作的基础是在民主、人权、自由贸易和互信方面的共同价值观。

日美关系是世界上互惠程度最高的双边关系之一。它不只限于贸易。实际上,日美关系覆盖了范围非常广的双边投资。

今天,日本公司在美国市场的业务规模相当大,投资也很多。美国是日本2018年对外直接投资最大目的国。而2017年,日本排在英国之后,是美国外商直接投资第二大来源国,当年日本在美国的累计投资总额为4690亿美元,其中90亿美元来自于摩根士丹利和我担任总裁的三菱日联金融集团的战略合作。

日本公司已经成为美国经济格局中不可或缺的一部分。它们直接为86.06万美国人提供了理想工作,平均年薪达到8.9万美元。与之类似,许多美国公司也将日本视为北美以外的最重要市场,而且美国不光是日本的外商直接投资最大来源国,其投资规模也远超其他国家。

正在进行的日美贸易谈判应该巩固两国关系并推动两国经济出现更强劲的增长。除了日本汽车行业牵头增加对美国制造业的投资,三菱日联还预见到两国合作对其他行业的有利影响。

举例来说,页岩气革命对美国能源行业来说代表着增强液化天然气生产和运输能力的机会。这吸引了三菱日联等已经大举投资于多个液化天然气项目的日本公司。

旨在实现交运系统现代化并让城市进化为“智慧城市”,从而高效管理资产和资源的社会基础设施项目是两国合作的另一领域。比如说,日本和美国公司正在令人兴奋的“新移动性”领域进行金融、技术以及其他类型的合作。无论是通过发展无人驾驶汽车和飞行出租车,推出拼车服务,还是通过把氢气作为低碳交运燃料来源,目的都是进行我们所知的交运革命。

对印太及以外地区其他寻求经济发展和繁荣的国家来说,日本和美国的密切关系仍然是一个典范。(财富中文网)

平野信行(Nobuyuki Hirano)是三菱日联金融集团总裁、日美经济协议会会长以及日本经济团体联合会副会长。

译者:Charlie

审校: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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