Tax hike ‘exceptional’: OECD chief

JIJI

OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria has hailed last week’s passage of the consumption tax bill by the Diet as “an exceptional achievement,” according to sources.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Gurria said the approval of the legislation “would not have been possible without your decisive leadership and political courage,” the sources said Thursday.

“Its positive impact will be felt for many years to come and will help Japan address the very important challenge of restoring the sustainability of its public finances,” said the letter, which is dated Aug. 10.

When he visited Japan in April, the head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development expressed his support for raising the consumption tax during a meeting with Noda. The tax bill will hike the levy from 5 to 10 percent by October 2015.