The ruling Liberal Democratic Party agreed Thursday with the opposition parties Shinto Heiwa (New Peace Party) and Komei to finalize on Nov. 9 a proposed plan to hand out merchandise coupons to the public in an effort to reinvigorate the now-stagnant personal consumption.In their first meeting, members of the LDP, Heiwa and Komei decided to discuss issues such as the scale and amount of such coupons as well as the range of recipients. The participants also decided to listen to personnel from municipal governments that have implemented a merchandise coupon plan.Komei drew up a bill on merchandise coupons calling for the issuance of 30,000 yen worth of coupons, with a limited validity of one year, to each citizen. But many members of the LDP have raised doubts that such a plan would boost personal consumption.At the meeting, Yuya Niwa, deputy chief of the LDP’s Policy Affairs Council, stressed the importance of seeking public “understanding.”The LDP, however, intends to accept the opposition camp’s proposals with some revisions, and considers it a “political matter” to help build stronger cooperation with the Heiwa-Komei group, according to LDP sources.
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