Beginning in April, Japan's sales tax will increase to 8 percent from the current 5 percent. The additional 3 percent will be added to everything from food items bought from the corner store to already expensive dinners at restaurants specializing in Kobe beef. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is implementing the hike, has thus earned the moniker "Japan's Prime Rib Minister."

Despite public concern that the higher rate will burden households and possibly cause an economic downturn, Abe has now unveiled a plan to charge a further levy on items not previously included, a move that will surely prove controversial.

Some say that the proposed increases, part of the "fourth arrow" in Abe's popular "Abenomics" policy, are going a step too far. Dubbed the "language tax," the new levy is aimed at word usage. Proper nouns such as Dokdo (instead of Takeshima) and Diaoyu (instead of Senkaku) will incur an 8 percent levy on their usage, based on their relative worth as listed in the 2014 word price-value index. The media, for example, may use the despised proper nouns, but must pay the price, each time, to do so.