No Link between Tax Hike, Lower House Breakup: Aso

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, May 21 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso offered the view Tuesday that the scheduled consumption tax hike and whether to dissolve the House of Representatives for a snap election should be considered separately.

The tax "has nothing to do with" the breakup of the all-important lower chamber of parliament, Aso, also deputy prime minister, told a press conference.

He was commenting on speculation that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would dissolve the Lower House for a general election to ask voters whether the tax hike from 8 pct to 10 pct should be carried out in October as planned or postponed again.

Meanwhile, Aso said Japan's gross domestic product data for January-March, released Monday, "aren't bad."

But he pointed out that the GDP data showed some weakness in the Japanese economy, including "delayed fixed business investment."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press