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Japan ruling bloc, DPFP agree talks on gas tax cut

  • March 16, 2022
  • , Jiji Press , 5:26 p.m.
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Tokyo, March 16 (Jiji Press)–The secretaries-general of Japan’s ruling parties and the opposition Democratic Party for the People agreed Wednesday to discuss unfreezing the so-called trigger clause for a temporary gasoline tax cut.

Toshimitsu Motegi of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Keiichi Ishii of Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, and Kazuya Shinba of the DPFP also agreed on the need for additional economic measures at their meeting in the Diet, Japan’s parliament.

The LDP came around to supporting discussions on unfreezing the trigger clause to cut the impact of rising crude oil prices after earlier calls by the DPFP and Komeito.

It is to be seen how Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will respond. Some members of his government are cautious on the matter.

The three parties will launch a working team to discuss details, including new criteria for starting and ending temporary gasoline tax cuts.

The team will comprise Katsunobu Kato of the LDP, Wataru Ito of Komeito and Kohei Otsuka of the DPFP, who are members of their respective parties’ tax commissions.

The secretaries-general agreed on the importance of implementing additional economic measures flexibly and without hesitation if needed after the passage of the fiscal 2022 budget expected for next week, as materials prices are rising amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

At the meeting, Shinba called for an economic package worth over 10 trillion yen, including a consumption tax cut.

“It will be too late unless we launch some form of economic measures within April,” Ishii told reporters.

It was the second time for the three parties’ secretaries-general to meet to discuss policy, following their first talks March 9.

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