Corporate tax rate may be pared ‘to below 30%’

JIJI, Kyodo

Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Akira Amari indicated Monday the government will consider lowering the corporate tax rate to below 30 percent in a new policy guideline to be drawn up as soon as June.

Regarding a proposed corporate tax cut, Amari told reporters that he wants the new economic and fiscal policy guidelines to detail its timing and size as concretely as possible. He met reporters at Tokyo International Airport at Haneda before leaving on a tour to France and Britain.

Lowering the tax rate from the current level above 35 percent to less than 30 percent will have an impact on the market, Amari said.

Amari said at the same time that the government aims to make the tax cut consistent with Japan’s fiscal reconstruction efforts, indicating the guidelines may contain a plan to lower the tax rate in stages.

Amari, also minister in charge of Trans-Pacific Partnership affairs, said that Japan and the United States have not reached a conclusion on any final figures in their negotiations on the TPP free trade initiative.

The two sides are continuing tough negotiations, he said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama did not announce an agreement after their recent summit in Tokyo, although they said in a joint statement that the two sides “identified a path forward” on important issues, marking “a key milestone” in the TPP negotiations.

Some Japanese media reported that the two sides effectively reached a broad agreement in the bilateral talks on the TPP when Obama visited Tokyo.