If municipal governments, instead of the central government, issue 30,000 yen gift coupons, this could help to boost personal consumption, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka said Wednesday.Komei and Shinto Heiwa (New Peace Party) have been asking the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to issue coupons with a limited period of validity to each citizen, and the three parties launched discussions on the issue earlier this week.At a regular news conference, Nonaka suggested it may be a good idea to issue the coupons at the municipal level because these governments are in a better position to set conditions for using them and boosting consumption in their areas. “I think smaller government entities such as cities, towns and villages will be in a better position than prefectures to issue coupons,” he said.However, Nonaka said many issues remain to be discussed before introducing coupons, such as how to convert them into money and prevent counterfeiting. “I hope the ruling and opposition parties will fully discuss the issue, and the government would like to start technical studies on the matter once they decide on a direction,” he said.The idea of issuing coupons was first proposed by Komei in its campaign pledge for the July Upper House election. Despite their policy discussions, some LDP members have expressed reluctance to introduce the measure.
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