Toyoda qualifies endorsement of consumption levy hike

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda on Wednesday threw his support behind the planned consumption tax increase but asked the government to adopt measures ensuring sustainable economic growth if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe goes ahead with the hike.

“I favor a consumption tax hike in order not to pass the bill (of current spending) on to future generations, but I want (the government) to consider how to help the economy achieve sustainable growth,” Toyoda told reporters after attending a meeting of a government panel on the tax issue.

Toyoda, who is also chairman of Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, said he urged the Abe administration to reform taxes on cars to prevent automobile sales from languishing following the sales tax hike.

The panel, which began hearings Monday, will listen to 60 people from a variety of sectors. It will hold sessions every day through Saturday and report to Abe before he makes up his mind as early as next month on whether to go through with the consumption tax hike.

Some experts are asking the administration to delay the tax hike or review the margin of increase amid growing concern that it may choke consumer and business spending, in turn hampering Abe’s efforts to beat Japan’s nearly two decades of deflation.