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Japan intends to speed up its timetable for reducing the disparity between taxes on whiskey and “Grade B” domestic “shochu” spirits by one year so that the rates will be almost the same beginning in October 2000, government officials said Monday.

The Finance Ministry put forth the proposal at the day’s meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Research Commission on the Tax System. Initially, Japan had intended to reduce the difference in tax rates per degree of alcohol in two more stages to 10.22 yen for whiskey and brandy, and 9.92 yen for Grade B shochu from October 2001.

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