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The Challenge of Restoring Japan’s Fiscal Integrity

Japanese public finances are burdened with persistent deficits and massive debt. This series examines what should be done to put the nation on an even fiscal keel once more.

The Convenient Assumptions Behind Japan’s New Fiscal StrategyMorinobu Shigeki

Abe Shinzō’s new plan to restore sound public finances postpones for five years the achievement of a primary balance surplus. This does little to quell uncertainties about the management of economic and fiscal risks, since it assumes the economy will grow rapidly through the maintenance of loose monetary policies.
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Why Is Japan’s Consumption Tax So Low?Kidera Hajime

At 8%, Japan’s current consumption tax rate is quite low compared to other advanced economies. This situation is explained by the Ministry of Finance’s postwar preference for tax policies centered on income tax and by the electoral losses of political administrations that sought either to introduce a general consumption tax or to increase the tax rate.
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Toward More Sustainable Social Security for JapanOguro Kazumasa

Japan’s public finances are burdened with massive deficits. The author explains the structural problems of public finances and their medium- to long-term risks.
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