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Translation and Rewriting (Japanese-English)

Part 9

Japan's Stance on FTAs

次に、日本のFTA・経済連携政策についてご説明申し上げます。これまで申し上げたとおり、WTOは、世界の貿易体制の中核としての機能を果たし続けると考えます。しかし、現実の各国の貿易投資は、必ずしも世界中の国々と均等に行われている訳ではありません。各国とも、地理的、歴史的、政治的、背景に基づき、特定の国、地域との結びつきがより強くなっております。

こうした「政治的・経済的結びつき」の深い二国間、あるいは地域間では、極めて高いレベルの自由化を実現することが可能です。例えば、欧州では、1957年の時点でローマ条約を締結し、域内関税をいち早く撤廃しましております。また、1994年には、北米自由貿易協定が締結され、北米大陸全体が一つの市場としての機能を持つに至りました。そして、世界のFTAをカウントしますと、今やWTO通報ベースで185のFTAが存在しています。

My translation

Next, I would like to look at Japan's policy on FTAs and economic partnerships. As I stated earlier, I see the WTO continuing in its role as the lynchpin of the world trading system. But countries do not necessarily conduct their trade and investment equally with every country in the world. For geographic, historical, or political reasons, economies tend to enjoy stronger ties with certain countries or territories than with others.

It is possible to achieve an extremely high level of liberalisation between countries or regions that have such political or economic ties. For instance, in Europe, the Treaty of Rome abolished internal tariffs as early as 1957. In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement created a single market for the whole of the North American continent. Globally, a total of 185 FTAs has been lodged with the WTO.

Official translation

I would like next to speak to Japanese policy on FTAs or economic partnerships. As already mentioned, we believe the WTO will continue to function at the center of the multilateral trading system. Nonetheless, we also recognize that trade and investment flows are not distributed evenly among all countries. Different countries have stronger or weaker ties with different countries and regions for geographic, historical, and political reasons.

Accordingly, it is sometimes possible to achieve much higher levels of liberalization with these politically and economically close countries and regions than it would be within the WTO's very diverse membership make-up. Europe is an excellent example, having concluded the Treaty of Rome in 1957 to eliminate intra-regional tariffs. More recently, the United States, Canada, and Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 and NAFTA has since functioned to make the whole of North America a single market. Indeed, a quick count shows that there are some 185 FTAs recorded with the WTO.

Structure and flow

This paragraph moves onto Japan's stance on FTAs. This follows the logical structure:

The logical connections in the two paragraphs are quite important. My translation handles them as follows:

  1. As I stated earlier.... (The speaker reiterates the earlier point)
  2. But.... (The speaker goes on to present a situation that conflicts with the earlier point)
  3. (No explicit transition)... (The speaker logically leads on to a different possibility)
  4. For instance,... (The speaker presents examples for his point)
  5. (No explicit transition)... (The speaker backs up his case with an illustrative figure)

This is handled much better by the official translation:

  1. As already mentioned.... (The speaker reiterates the earlier point)
  2. Nonetheless... (The speaker goes on to present a situation that conflicts with the earlier point)
  3. Accordingly... (The speaker logically leads on to a different possibility)
  4. Europe is an excellent example... More recently.... (The speaker presents examples for his point)
  5. Indeed,... (The speaker backs up his case with an illustrative figure)

By marking the connections more explicit, the official translation not only coheres better, it also reads better and sounds more natural.

The official translation also adds extra context when it says: 'it is ... possible to achieve much higher levels of liberalization with these politically and economically close countries and regions than it would be within the WTO's very diverse membership make-up'. The last clause referring to the WTO's very diverse membership does not occur in the original Japanese. It serves to emphasise the benefits of FTAs as compared with the WTO.

Vocabulary

Japanese original Literal meaning My translation Official translation
説明します 'explain' 'look at' 'speak to'
中核 'nucleus, centrepiece' 'lynchpin' '(function) at the center'
機能を果たす 'fulfil a function' '(continuing) in its role' '(will continue to) function'
実現する 'realise' 'achieve' 'achieve'
機能を持つ 'have a function' 'the Agreement created a single market' 'has functioned to'
通報ベース 'on a reported basis' 'has been lodged' 'there are 185 FTAs recorded'
いち早く 'immediately, very early' 'as early as' omitted
必ずしも...行われている訳ではありません 'the fact is that they are not necessarily conducted' 'do not necessarily
conduct...'
'are not'
持つに至りました 'came to have' not translated not specifically translated
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