Japan will answer the world’s call and present a credible midterm fiscal plan by implementing the sales tax hike as planned next April, economic revitalization minister Akira Amari said Wednesday.
Delivering a speech titled “Japan Is Back” at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Amari also said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to reshuffle his Cabinet and executive posts of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party before an extraordinary Diet session begins this fall.
Touching on the Group of Eight summit in Northern Ireland, where leaders addressed Japan’s massive government debt, Amari said: “We don’t have a scenario where we’ll postpone raising the consumption tax. Our job is to prepare the circumstances that will enable a tax hike (as scheduled).”
Amari, the right-hand man of Abe and his economic policies, highlighted the achievements of the government’s first six months in power, including gross domestic product growth that has exceeded expectations, a lower unemployment rate and increased exports.
In his speech, Amari said the economy initially may have been merely reacting to (positive) “sentiment,” but noted wages are on the rise and backing the uptrend.
“We are entering a new phase” of “Abenomics,” he explained, referring to Abe’s economic, fiscal and monetary policy package.
On the recent turbulence of the Nikkei 225 stock average and the yen’s surge on the currency markets, Amari assured that things will eventually settle down.
“This is a concern that I’ve been asked about repeatedly. But obviously, once the real economy shows growth, (the market) will stabilize as well,” he said. “It is therefore extremely important for us to execute the policies we put forward.”
Abe’s Cabinet last week adopted its new growth strategies, which included creating special economic zones and deregulating sales of medicines online.