Japan PM to hike sales tax to ease debt burden
TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hike the nation's sales tax, Jiji Press news agency said on Tuesday, in a move seen as crucial to chopping a massive national debt.
Mr Abe told a meeting of government and ruling party policymakers that the increase was aimed at "maintaining the nation's trust and handing over a sustainable social security system to the next generation", Jiji reported.
The 59-year-old premier added that he would also unveil an economic stimulus package to "ease the impact" of a tax rise that critics fear will derail Japan's budding recovery.
The move marks a big political gamble for Mr Abe - previous hikes have proved career-ending for his predecessors.