Tokyo, March 4 (Jiji Press)–The leaders of Japan’s ruling camp and the opposition Democratic Party for the People agreed on Friday to discuss a temporary gasoline tax cut to address surging oil prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters, DPFP leader Yuichiro Tamaki said that working-level officials from the two sides will discuss the possibility of lifting a freeze on the so-called trigger provision to lower gasoline tax on a temporary basis.
Tamaki said he has called on the ruling camp to ensure that more nuclear power plants that meet safety standards will be brought back online.
He made the remarks after a meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, also president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner.
Kishida told reporters that the three leaders have discussed many policy proposals.
The meeting, requested by the DPFP, lasted about 35 minutes behind closed doors. It was Kishida’s first meeting with Tamaki since he became prime minister in October last year.
Kishida apparently aims to seek cooperation from the DPFP in managing his government by showing a positive stance on policy proposals from the opposition party, sources familiar with the situation said.
Earlier on Friday, Tamaki separately met with Yamaguchi to seek cooperation on a gasoline tax cut.
After the three-way meeting, Yamaguchi told reporters that the talks have given the ruling bloc the first opportunity to hear Tamaki’s opinions. “We will continue to listen to his opinions and requests when they arise,” Yamaguchi said.
The three leaders agreed to urge Russia to immediately halt its attack on Ukraine. They also agreed to step up humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
The DPFP voted in favor of the government’s annual budget at the House of Representatives last month in return for Kishida’s pledge to consider the lifting of the trigger provision.
At a parliamentary meeting held ahead of the three-way meeting, Kishida said that “if crude oil prices continue to rise in the next fiscal year, we will not rule out any options.”