Cut corporate tax to aid commerce, Mikitani advises

JIJI

Rakuten President Hiroshi Mikitani wants the government to set clear tax and employment targets in order to strengthen the country’s international competitiveness.

“The government needs to clearly state specific numerical targets and clarify its responsibilities,” Mikitani said Wednesday.

In a speech that touched on corporate expansion overseas and domestic administrative efficiency, Mikitani called on the government to reduce the corporate tax, which is relatively high by global standards.

Speaking in Tokyo, he also urged the government to improve labor productivity, which is low among industrialized countries.

Mikitani called for numerical targets to be detailed at the Industrial Competitiveness Council, the government’s microeconomic policy panel. Mikitani serves on the panel as a private-sector member.

Specifically, Mikitani said the government should levy a 25 percent corporate tax, which would be among the lowest of advanced economies, down from nearly 40 percent now.

He also said the government should raise the tax rate of newly established businesses to 10 percent — the rate applied by governments in Europe and the U.S. — from 4 percent at present.

Mikitani also called on the government to turn Japan into one of the top 10 countries in the world in terms of labor productivity, compared with 23rd among industrialized economies at present.

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    25% wouldn’t necessarily be among the lowest among advanced economies.