Despite oppositions raised from within both the government and the business community, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and two opposition forces moved a step forward Wednesday to realize a proposed plan to distribute merchandise coupons to the public.
In their second round of meetings on the issue, the LDP and two opposition forces — Shinto Heiwa (New Peace Party) and Komei — reached a consensus that giving coupons with a limited validity to the public would contribute to boosting personal consumption, thus leading to the revitalization of local economies, according to participants.
It is widely viewed that the LDP has given its approval to the opposition-proposed scheme in order to forge closer ties with Heiwa and Komei.
During Wednesday’s meeting, however, officials from the Finance Ministry and Home Affairs Ministry spoke of difficulties in introducing the coupon scheme.
For instance, they said questions remain concerning how to prevent forgery, how to check the identity of recipients and how to prevent recipients from getting coupons cashed without spending them.
The Home Affairs Ministry officials demanded that the central government should take all the financial burden incurred from the scheme even if the coupons are distributed by local governments.
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