Takaichi Stands by Criticism against Tax Hike Plan


Tokyo, Dec. 13 (Jiji Press)--Japan's economic security minister Sanae Takaichi on Tuesday stood by her earlier criticism of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's plan to raise taxes to finance an increase in defense spending.

"I didn't say anything wrong," Takaichi said at a press conference. "The prime minister has the authority to appoint cabinet ministers, so if I'm removed from office, that can't be helped."

Takaichi slammed the tax hike plan on Saturday, saying in a Twitter post that she "can't understand the prime minister's true intentions in making a statement that may chill mindsets over raising wages at this time."

The criticism came after Kishida on Thursday instructed the ruling parties to consider tax hikes to secure some 1 trillion yen to partially cover higher defense spending.

Takaichi said at the press conference that she spoke with Kishida on Monday night about financing defense spending. The minister told Kishida that the government should look at how much wages will be increased in 2023 and then think about the fund sources from fiscal 2024 onward, but the two failed to reach an agreement.

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Jiji Press