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Japan must reform social security, finances simultaneously: Govt panel draft

Published on Jul 29, 2013 12:34 PM

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan must simultaneously reform its social-security system and its bloated public debt, a draft report by a government panel said, potentially putting pressure on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to proceed with a plan to raise the national sales tax.

The two reforms must go together in order to avoid passing the burden of social-security spending for the rapidly ageing society on to future generations, said the final draft of the report, seen by Reuters on Monday.

The panel on social-security and fiscal reform is to present the report to Mr Abe on Aug 8.

Mr Abe faces a tough decision by this autumn on whether to go ahead with the first stage of a planned doubling of the sales tax to 10 percent over two years.

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