Japan's Abe Defies Consumption Tax Hike "Taboo"

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Sept. 30 (Jiji Press)--By raising the consumption tax from 8 pct to 10 pct Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration for a second time defies what was regarded as a political "taboo" by many past administrations.

The government introduced the tax in 1989 at 3 pct and lifted the rate to 5 pct in 1997 and 8 pct in 2014, drawing negative reactions from the public each time.

In the House of Councillors election in July 1989, just after the administration of then Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita introduced the tax, the Japan Socialist Party, now called the Social Democratic Party, scored a landslide victory by calling for the abolition of the tax.

The election results led Sousuke Uno of the Liberal Democratic Party to resign as prime minister.

In February 1994, then Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa suddenly announced a plan to introduce a new welfare tax to replace the consumption tax on the strength of high public support for his administration.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press