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Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka said Monday that an increase in government contributions to state-run pensions should be included in next year’s revision plan, a reversal from Health and Welfare Minister Sohei Miyashita’s remarks the day before.

Many legislators in the Liberal Democratic Party and opposition camps are strongly urging that when pension laws are revised next year, the government boost its contributions to half of the total expense from the current one-third.

Nonaka said the government and the LDP must map out a basic plan by the end of the year for the source of the hike’s revenue and the timing of the increase, including an option to boost the proportions of the state contributions in several phrases.

Miyashita indicated in a Sunday television debate that the increase in the government’s contributions would not be carried out in the immediate future. “As a future target, the (state’s) burden can be raised to half. But this will cost the government 2.2 trillion yen per year, which will force us to raise the consumption tax,” Miyashita said.

The current pension system consists of two parts — a basic sum paid through the national pension system and a proportional amount that varies according to salary and length of time over which the recipient paid premiums.

Referring to Miyashita’s remarks, Nonaka said, “Each department concerned is debating the issue, and the minister mentioned one of the options. “It is the responsibility of our administration to draw a clear picture of what the system will be like when generations who are now paying premiums receive pensions,” Nonaka said.

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