September 10, 2018 / 2:29 AM / 2 months ago

Japan PM Abe: will proceed with sales tax hike as planned

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses Japan's Self-Defense Forces senior members during a meeting at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo, Japan, September 3, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that he would proceed with a planned sales tax hike in October 2019 and carry out fiscal reform, while taking steps to cushion the economic impact of the higher levy.

“We will carry out fiscal consolidation and want to raise the sales tax as planned” to 10 percent, Abe told a news conference held to kick off campaign for a leadership race for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

He said he has learned a lesson from the impact of the 2014 sales tax hike, which dealt a blow to private consumption, citing the need to stimulate consumption of durable goods such as cars and housing.

Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Kim Coghill

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