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The Politics of the Tax Hike and AbenomicsTakenaka Harukata

On October 1, the cabinet of Prime Minister Abe Shinzō decided that the government would raise the consumption tax rate from 5% to 8% as scheduled next April. Below I provide a political interpretation of why it reached this decision. In recent months, Prime Minister Abe repeatedly acknowledged that he would carefully make the final judgment about the hike while taking into account its impact o…

Abe Green-lights Consumption Tax HikeMichael Schauerte

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō ended months of speculation today with his announcement that Japan’s nationwide consumption tax will be raised from 5% to 8% on April 1, 2014. In making his decision, the prime minister looked to recent economic figures as a sign that Japan’s economic recovery was robust enough to weather the tax hike. He was encouraged by the September 9 announcement that the country’s …

Abe’s Agenda on Three FrontsKitaoka Shin’ichi

In order to deal with the difficult issues Japan faces domestically and internationally, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō will need to display leadership and promote realistic policies without getting tied up in ideology.

Election 2012: The People’s Verdict, Abe’s AgendaShiraishi Takashi

On December 16 Japan held a general election for the House of Representatives, the lower house of the National Diet. As had been expected, the Liberal Democratic Party, which lost power three years ago, emerged victorious this time. The LDP achieved a sweeping victory, taking 294 of the 480 seats in the chamber. Adding the 31 seats won by the New Kōmeitō, its long-time ally, gives a total of 325, …

Why Noda Decided to Call an ElectionTakenaka Harukata

On November 16 Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko dissolved the House of Representatives; a general election will be held on December 16. Many readers may wonder why he took that step at this time. After all, public support for Noda’s cabinet and his Democratic Party of Japan is languishing at a very low level. Opinion polls conducted by the major newspapers shortly before the announcement show that th…

Global Japan: 2050 Simulations and StrategiesTango Yasutake

In April 2012, Keidanren’s 21st Century Public Policy Institute released a report with detailed simulations of the Japanese and global economies leading up to 2050. Tango Yasutake introduces some of the report’s key points.

Consumption Tax Bill Repercussions Have Just BegunGotō Kenji

As we all know, the last phase of deliberations over the consumption tax bill took place on August 8, at a meeting between Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko of the Democratic Party of Japan and Tanigaki Sadakazu, leader of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party.(*1) It was then that Noda promised Tanigaki that he would dissolve the lower house and call a general election “soon,” persuading Tanigaki t…

Gearing Up for the General ElectionMasuzoe Yōichi

Setting aside their political differences, the Liberal Democratic Party, the New Kōmeitō Party, and the Democratic Party of Japan joined together to pass a bill in the Diet for a comprehensive reform of the taxation and social security systems. Leading up to this, Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko promised LDP President Tanigaki Sadakazu(*1) that he would dissolve the Diet to hold a snap general ele…

The Political History of the Consumption Tax

In August 2012, the plenary session of Japan’s upper house approved a bill containing a consumption tax hike and other measures. Fierce debate and much political wrangling have surrounded the issue of increasing the consumption tax over the years. The following traces this history.

The Political Significance of Noda’s Consumption Tax HikeTakenaka Harukata

The package of bills that will raise the consumption tax was passed by the House of Representatives at the end of June. Political parties that had opposed each other came together to pass the bills. Political scientist Takenaka Harukata discusses some of the reasons for this sequence of events.

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