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中国经济放缓影响日本,安倍经济学还能走多远?
Japan Stumbles as China’s Growth Engine Slows

来源:纽约时报    2019-04-03 06:17



        TOKYO — The Nidec Corporation likes to say it makes everything that “spins and moves,” from the intricate motors that whir in hard drives to the hulking ones used on oil rigs.        东京——日本电产公司常说,它制造一切可以“旋转和移动”的东西,从硬盘里高速旋转的精密马达,到石油钻塔使用的笨重电机。
        In recent years, things had been going well for the company. Global demand for precision engineering, especially from China, increased sales for Nidec and other Japanese companies, helping to lift long-sluggish Japan out of its economic doldrums.        近年来,这家公司的发展一直很顺利。全球对精密工程的需求,尤其是来自中国的需求,增加了日本电产和其他日企的销售,帮助日本走出长期以来的经济低迷。
        Then sales to China plunged in November and December as the country’s economy slowed. Nidec, which counts on China for about 40 percent of its revenue, slashed its profit projections by more than 25 percent.        随后,由于中国经济放缓,11月和12月对该国的销售大幅下滑。日本电产将盈利预期下调逾25%,该公司约四成收入来自中国。
        “I’ve been in management for 46 years,” the company’s founder and chief executive, Shigenobu Nagamori, told reporters in January, “and seeing our monthly orders plummet like this is a first.”        “我已经在管理层工作了46年,”公司创始人兼首席执行官永守重信今年1月对记者说,“月度订单这样暴跌,还是头一次看到。”
        Japan’s economic rebirth is in trouble, and China shares part of the blame. Exports have slumped, and companies that depend on Japan’s fast-growing neighbor are slashing profit forecasts and considering idling factories.        日本的经济复苏陷入困境,也与中国有关。出口大幅下滑,依赖中国这个快速增长邻国的日本企业,纷纷下调利润预期,并考虑停产。
        Combined with other problems — including lackluster spending at home and an aging society — China’s slowdown presents a major challenge to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his namesake economic program, Abenomics, as he prepares for an important national election this summer.        在日本首相安倍晋三为今年夏天举行的重要全国大选做准备之际,中国经济放缓加之日本国内消费低迷、社会老龄化在内的其他问题,对他及其同名经济计划——安倍经济学——构成了重大挑战。
        Specifically, it raises questions about how Mr. Abe, who took office in 2012, can fix problems at home without the boost from China’s powerful growth engine.        具体来说,这让人们怀疑,2012年上台的安倍晋三能否在没有中国强大增长引擎的推动下解决国内问题。
        Japan’s economy continues to grow for now, and the fate of Abenomics is far from certain. Still, Mr. Abe’s political opponents are sharpening their knives.        日本经济目前仍在继续增长,安倍经济学的命运还远未确定。不过,安倍的政治对手正在磨刀霍霍。
        “It’s the beginning of the end for Abenomics,” Yuichiro Tamaki of the opposition Democratic Party for the People told reporters in mid-March.        在野党国民民主党的玉木雄一郎3月中旬对记者说:“这是安倍经济学终结的开始。”
        The Abe administration points to signs that Japan’s economy is still on track.        安倍政府指出,有迹象表明日本经济仍在按预定目标发展。
        “We continue to see an increase in consumer spending and capital investment, which are pillars of demand,” Yoshihide Suga, chief cabinet secretary, said at a March news conference. “There has been no change in the moderate recovery of the economy."        “我们看到消费支出和资本投资继续增加,这是需求的支柱,”内阁官房长官菅义伟在3月的一次新闻发布会上表示。“经济仍在稳健复苏。”
        But even the government is wondering how much longer the expansion can continue. Exports plummeted starting in December. Industrial output fell for three months straight before rising slightly in February. The annual salary negotiations between Japan Inc. and unions ended with only modest gains after the government softened a pressure campaign on companies to raise wages.        但就连政府也不知道,这种增长还能持续多久。从12月开始,日本出口锐减。工业产值在2月份略有上升之前,连续三个月下降。在政府缓和了要求企业加薪的压力之后,日本企业与工会的年度薪资谈判,以微弱的涨幅结束。
        In mid-March, the government downgraded its economic assessment for the first time in three years, pointing to China’s economy as a major factor.        3月中旬,政府三年来首次下调了经济评级,并指出中国经济是一个主因。
        Mr. Abe’s economic proposals were supposed to lift Japan out of a slump that had begun in the early 1990s. They included what he called the “three arrows” of Abenomics: increasing Japan’s money supply, raising government spending and proposing fixes to longstanding problems that discouraged companies from hiring and investing.        安倍的经济方案本应帮助日本走出始于上世纪90年代初的衰退。其中包括他所谓的安倍经济学的“三箭齐发”:增加日本的货币供应量;增加政府支出;拿出办法,解决长期以来阻碍企业招聘和投资的问题。
        Pumping money into Japan’s economy provided the quickest fix. Under Mr. Abe’s influence, the central bank began printing more yen in 2013. The value of the currency dropped, making Japanese exports more appealing to foreign buyers.The strategy added gas to Japan’s export machine. Except for a brief downshift in 2015 when a Chinese slowdown hit global growth, Japanese sales abroad picked up speed. Nidec and many other companies like Renesas, which makes semiconductors, and Fanuc, which makes high-end robots, enjoyed steadily rising sales.        给日本经济注入资金提供了最快捷的解决之道。在安倍影响下,中央银行于2013年开始增印日元。日元贬值使日本出口对外国买家更具吸引力。这一策略给日本的出口机器增添了动力。除2015年中国经济放缓重创全球增长时出现短暂下行外,日本在海外的销售加快了速度。电产及半导体制造商瑞萨电子(Renesas)、高端机器人制造商发那科(Fanuc)等其他公司均经历了销售额的稳步增长。
        The easy money policy did little to help other parts of the economy, however. Longstanding problems like deflation, bureaucracy and a shrinking population added friction to the country’s growth.        但这一宽松的货币政策却几乎无助于其他经济部门。通货紧缩、官僚主义、人口缩减等长期存在的问题给该国的增长造成了更大阻力。
        As deflation pushed down prices, companies struggled to increase profits. Deflation generally discourages consumers from making major purchases as they wait for lower prices and better deals.        随着通货紧缩压低物价,公司大多难以增加利润。由于消费者会等待更低的价格、更多的优惠,通货紧缩通常会使消费者进行重大采购活动的意愿降低。
        An entrenched and backward-looking corporate culture made it difficult for Japan to keep up with the times. Many companies have resisted government efforts to improve corporate governance and introduce more women into the work force, leading to mixed results for Mr. Abe’s initiatives. As a result, corporate oversight remains weak. And although more women are working than ever, the quality of jobs available to them is still low.        盘根错节、缺乏前瞻性的企业文化使日本难以与时俱进。许多公司已抵制政府改进企业治理、增加女性雇员的努力,导致安倍的经济倡议好坏参半。结果,企业监管仍很薄弱。尽管女性工作人数多于从前,但提供给她们的职位质量仍然偏低。
        Increasing government spending has also proved tricky.        增加政府开支也是个棘手的问题。
        Japan has the highest level of debt in the industrialized world, so finding money to spend can be difficult. Mr. Abe has long pushed for an increase in the country’s consumption tax to 10 percent to help finance public spending. But after a first increase in 2014, to 8 percent from 5 percent, shook the economy, the government has twice delayed the politically unpopular second round.        日本有着工业化国家中最高的债务水平,因此寻找资金可能是件难事。安倍长期都在推动将日本的消费税提高到10%,以帮助公共开支融资。但在2014年从5%到8%的首次上调给经济造成冲击之后,政府已两度推迟这一在政治上不受欢迎的第二轮上调。
        Should Japan’s economy continue to weaken, a tax increase could do even more damage. Nonetheless, Mr. Abe has committed to the move. Economists say he has few other options.        若日本经济继续下行,则上调税率可能会造成更大损害。尽管如此,安倍依然决心采取此举。经济学家称,他几乎别无选择。
        “There’s no space left for thinking up some additional policies,” said Shinichiro Kobayashi, a senior economist at the research arm of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.That means Japan’s future growth may heavily depend on China.        “没有多少剩余空间来想出一些额外的政策,”三菱UFJ金融集团(Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group)研究部门的资深经济学家小林真一郎(Shinichiro Kobayashi)说。这意味着日本的未来增长可能会严重依赖中国。
        As Japan’s population has aged and demand has weakened, Japanese companies have increasingly looked to China to expand revenue. Growth in the Chinese middle class and the increasing sophistication of its manufacturing base have whetted the country’s appetite for high-end consumer and industrial goods, all underwritten by a cheap yen.        随着日本人口的老龄化和需求的减弱,日本企业日益瞄准中国以扩大收入。中国中产阶级的增长及其制造基础的日臻完善刺激了这个国家对高端消费者和工业产品的胃口,这一切都可以用廉价的日元支付。
        But in the short term at least, that demand, too, is weakening. In January, Japan’s exports to China across a wide range of industries — from consumer electronics to the machines that make them — fell more than 17 percent from a year earlier, after a drop of over 6 percent in December. Although exports to the country rebounded in February, the gains did not make up for lost ground.        但至少在短期内,这一需求也同样在减弱。1月份,日本多个行业对中国的出口——从消费者电子产品到制造这些产品的机器行业——在12月份下跌6%之后,同比下降超过17%。虽然2月份对中国的出口有所回弹,但增幅尚不足以弥补失去的阵地。
        The sudden shift in the Chinese market has forced many Japanese companies to revise their earnings forecasts down. Consumer electronics companies and automakers in particular have expressed pessimism about market conditions, with flagship brands like Nissan, Nikon and Sony moving to temper investors' expectations for sales in the country.        中国市场的突然转变已迫使许多日本公司下调收益预期。消费者电子产品公司和汽车制造商对市场状况特别表示了悲观,尼桑、尼康和索尼这类旗舰品牌已开始回调投资者对中国市场的销售预期。
        It isn’t clear when Chinese demand may bounce back. Beijing has pledged to focus on job creation, made more money available for its state-controlled banks to lend out and promised to make business-friendly moves like cutting taxes and red tape. However, the government reduced its growth target for 2019, saying it is seeking an economic expansion that emphasizes quality over quantity.        尚不清楚中国的需求何时能够回弹。北京当局已誓言注重增加就业,增加国有银行的贷款额度,并承诺采取削减税费、精简手续等企业友好举措。但中国政府下调了2019年的增长目标,称其在寻求重质量、轻数量的经济增长。
        The picture has been further complicated by trade frictions between the United States and China, as President Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on the country has squeezed Japanese companies with manufacturing there.        由于特朗普总统给中国施加关税的决定使在中国有制造业务的日本企业受到挤压,美中之间的贸易摩擦使这一图景进一步复杂化。
        The trade war is “the biggest risk to Japan’s economy,” Mr. Kobayashi of Mitsubishi UFJ said.        贸易战是“日本经济面临的最大风险”,三菱UFJ金融集团的小林真一郎说。
        Nidec is hanging its hopes for a turnaround on China’s government.        电产公司寄望于中国政府的彻底转变。
        Beijing “understands the current critical situation well” Mr. Nagamori said, addressing questions about the future of his company’s business in China, “and we’re sure they’ll use every possible strategy to quickly work out a solution.”        北京方面“非常了解当前的严峻形势”,永守重信在回答其公司在华业务未来的相关问题时说,“我们肯定他们会调动一切可能的策略,迅速制定出解决方案。”
        In the meantime, he said, the company can’t dwell on its present difficulties. If it does, “we won’t be able to respond when demand comes rushing back,” Mr. Nagamori said.        与此同时,他说公司不能过于在意眼前的困难。如果这样,“那么当需求迅速回暖,我们就无法作出回应,”永守重信说。
        He added, “We’ll lose a big opportunity.”        他接着说,“我们就会损失一个巨大的机会。”
                
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