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In an attempt to accelerate efforts by the government and the ruling coalition parties to draw up specific proposals for an emergency economic package, two top policymakers of the Liberal Democratic Party agreed Friday to call a meeting of the party’s tax panel in early April.

The agreement came at a meeting between Shizuka Kamei, the chairman of the LDP’s Policy Research Council, and Kabun Muto, head of the Tax System Research Commission, a powerful LDP policy-setting panel on tax issues, the two lawmakers said.

The LDP tax panel usually begins deliberations on tax system revisions in the fall, with tax panel members having shown reluctance to meet in the spring.

Some government leaders and LDP officials were critical, however, of the LDP tax commission’s desire to adhere to set schedules at a time when it is necessary to work out the details of tax measures included in an emergency economic package that was proposed by the ruling coalition earlier this month.

The tax panel will meet “a few days” after tax-related bills for fiscal 2001 pass the Diet, Muto said.

Muto said his panel will analyze how tax measures can contribute to the economy.

The LDP tax commission will specifically study measures to boost consumer spending, halt asset price deflation and prod banks to unload problem loans, Muto said.

“But one should remember tax measures will not be all powerful,” Muto said.

The tripartite coalition parties — the LDP, New Komeito and the New Conservative Party — issued a package of measures March 9 that includes tax breaks and other initiatives aimed at boosting the economy and combating plunging stock prices.

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