The Saturday editions of all national dailies wrote that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga, who is on track to win the LDP leadership race, corrected on Friday his earlier remark that Japan’s consumption tax needs to be raised beyond the current 10% in the future. Suga said that Prime Minister Abe has said that Japan does not need to raise the consumption tax rate for the next 10 years and he has the same view, adding that he was thinking beyond the next 10 years when he made the earlier comment.
Yomiuri wrote that Suga’s statement on the need to raise the consumption tax caused a stir within the ruling coalition because the opposition camp, which is calling for cuts in the tax rate, will likely take up the issue in the next general election. The paper wrote that some of the ruling coalition lawmakers expressed concern that Suga’s comment will have a negative impact on the ruling parties’ campaign for the general election.
Sunday papers wrote that Suga clarified his position on the consumption tax again during a debate with his two rivals at the Japan National Press Club on Saturday by saying that although he shares Abe’s view that Japan does not need to raise the consumption tax rate for the next 10 years, he does not rule out the possibility of raising it after that.