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Abe Announces Decision to Dissolve Lower House on September 28 (News)

Tokyo, Sept. 25 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō said on Monday that he will dissolve the House of Representatives at the beginning of an extraordinary session of the Diet on Thursday, calling a snap election. The election for the powerful lower chamber of the Diet will be held on October 22, with the official campaign period starting on October 10, according to informed sources.…

Abe Vows to Spend ¥2 Trillion on Developing Japan’s People (News)

Tokyo, Sept. 25 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō said Monday that the government will compile by year-end a ¥2 trillion policy package for promoting a revolution in human-resource development. The government plans to find financial resources for the program by reviewing how to use the revenue from the scheduled consumption tax rate hike from 8% to 10% in October 2019. The prom…

Timeline for June 2016

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō postpones the consumption tax hike, Tokyo Governor Masuzoe Yōichi resigns, and campaigning begins for the House of Councillors election. Look back at the main stories of June 2016.

Fiscal Concerns Grow as Abe Again Postpones Consumption Tax Hike

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō announced on June 1 that he would postpone raising the consumption tax from 8% to 10% until October 2019. The decision marks the second time for Abe to delay the hike, putting it a full four years later than planned. It was initially slated to take effect in October 2015 but was pushed back to April 2017 over recessionary concerns. During the press conference announcin…

The Political History of the Consumption Tax

In June 2016, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō once again postponed the next consumption tax hike. The rate will climb from 8% to 10% in October 2019, fully four years after the originally planned date. In this article we trace the history of consumption tax policy in Japan.

Timeline for May 2016

US President Barack Obama visits Hiroshima, the Group of Seven summit is held in Mie Prefecture, and Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors enter a capital alliance. Look back on the major Japan news stories of May 2016.

Abe’s Growth-First Fiscal PolicyTobias Harris

On June 30, the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, the Japanese government’s leading economic advisory council, issued the 2015 version of its Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform. This is a blueprint for the government’s economic policy agenda for the current fiscal year and the following fiscal year’s budgetary process, which starts in the summer. While drafting the…

Getting Serious About Fiscal Reform: Beyond Smoke and MirrorsOguro Kazumasa

Prime Minister Abe’s commitment to fiscal retrenchment has come under question since his cabinet delayed a planned tax hike and approved the biggest budget in history. While the government claims to have met its interim deficit reduction target, Oguro Kazumasa questions its accounting methods and warns that tough choices are still needed to avert a fiscal meltdown.

The Burden of Inheritance: An Already High Tax Expands Its ReachAramaki Yoshihiro

Japanese, in anticipation of the hike in inheritance taxes taking effect on January 1, 2015, flocked to seminars given by banks and real estate firms to learn about countermeasures. Aramaki Yoshihiro, a certified public accountant, believes that the “democratization” of the inheritance tax will change how the Japanese approach asset management.

Bolder Reforms Needed to Drive Abenomics ForwardFukuda Shin’ichi

Financial markets have responded favorably to Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s policies, and asset prices are up, but real wages are still declining. To achieve a solid recovery, higher productivity and bold structural reform will be essential.

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