Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi wants the consumption tax reductions for daily necessities to be outlined by autumn and hopes Japan can show enough remorse to improve ties with China and South Korea when the 70th anniversary of the end of the war is observed this August.
“We aim to start talks within the ruling bloc later this month and present an outline of the planned system at the beginning of the autumn,” Yamaguchi said Friday in a street speech in Tokyo.
Komeito, the junior partner in the ruling coalition, wants the tax rate reductions to be take effect at the same time the doubling of the sales tax is finally completed in April 2017.
The second stage of the hike was initially planned for October 2015, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided to postpone it after the first stage, which hiked it to 8 percent from 5 percent last April, took a major bite out of the economy. The second stage will take it to 10 percent.
On the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II this Aug. 15, Yamaguchi underscored that Japan should continue its pursuit of peace based on remorse for what it did in the war.
He called on the Abe administration to improve relations with China and South Korea, which are still angry over territorial disputes, history disputes and Japan’s effort to bypass war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution.
“Contributing together to not just East Asia, but also the entire world should be the right approach in our relationship (with China and South Korea),” he said.