Election Not Necessarily Linked to Any Tax Hike Delay: Abe

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, May 24 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday he will not necessarily call a general election even if his government decides to delay a consumption tax hike set for Oct. 1.

Speaking before the House of Representatives Committee on Health, Labor and Welfare, Abe reiterated that there is no change in the government's plan to raise the consumption tax rate from 8 pct to 10 pct as planned unless an event occurs equivalent to the 2008 global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers.

Abe was answering a question from Yuichiro Tamaki, head of the opposition Democratic Party for the People.

The government must raise the tax to strengthen Japan's social security system, improve fiscal soundness and maintain confidence in the country, Abe said.

Asked how the government will respond in the event of something like the financial crisis taking place, the prime minister said he will make appropriate decisions if it happens.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press