Japan Finance Minister: ruling party's new personnel could be positive to sales tax hike

TOKYO Wed Sep 3, 2014 12:44am EDT

Japan's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso smiles as he arrives at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo September 3, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Japan's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso smiles as he arrives at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo September 3, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Yuya Shino

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Wednesday that the appointment of a former finance chief to the ruling party's No.2 post could be positive for a decision on a second sales tax hike next year, although the government must take into account economic conditions at the time.

Aso was referring to Sadakazu Tanigaki, who was named secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party, on the sidelines of a cabinet reshuffle due later on Wednesday.

"It won't be negative," Aso told reporters. "But even Tanigaki could not do anything careless if the economy worsens by then," when the government is due to decide in December on whether to raise the sales tax hike again in October 2015.

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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