G-7 Leaders to Hold Videoconference on Monday

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, March 16 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that leaders of the Group of Seven major industrial nations will hold a videoconference from 11 p.m. on the day Japan time (2 p.m. GMT) over the global outbreak of the new coronavirus.

"I hope we'll discuss global cooperation for the fight against the virus," Abe said during intensive deliberations on dealing with the spread of the new coronavirus at the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament. "Japan wants to overcome this hardships by joining hands with other countries."

Abe added that he will call on his G-7 colleagues to get united in the fight.

At a press conference on the day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that Abe will explain Japan's measures to prevent the spread of the virus at the videoconference. The G-7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Asked by a ruling party lawmaker at the Budget Committee meeting about a possible consumption tax cut as an economy-boosting step amid the coronavirus scares, Abe said, "We must implement very drastic measures to help the Japanese economy resume strong growth." But Abe stopped short of making a direct reference to a cut in the tax rate. The Abe government raised the consumption tax rate to 10 pct from 8 pct at the beginning of last October.

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