Japan says PM Abe will set up panel on sales tax hike

In this photo taken on June 6, 2013, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answers a question during an exclusive interview with Agence France-Presse at his official residence in Tokyo. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will set up a panel to study the
In this photo taken on June 6, 2013, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answers a question during an exclusive interview with Agence France-Presse at his official residence in Tokyo. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will set up a panel to study the impact of a planned sales tax hike on the economy, the government's top spokesman said on Thursday. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will set up a panel to study the impact of a planned sales tax hike on the economy, the government's top spokesman said on Thursday.

The panel would be formed by Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, Economy Minister Akira Amari, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and other officials who would assess the state of the economy by consulting experts and business leaders, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters at a regular press conference.

The planned doubling of the sales tax over the next two years has come into focus as Mr Abe looks to balance the need to stimulate growth via his "Abenomics" policies while reining in the industrial world's heaviest public-debt burden.