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The government may introduce early tax cuts as part of additional antideflation measures, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Thursday.

“We may make a decision on the time limits, timing and scale (of tax cuts) before the general picture becomes clear,” the top government spokesman told reporters.

His comments indicate tax cuts may be considered before June, when the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, a key government panel headed by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, is set to compile the main pillars of tax reform.

Fukuda said the government will be monitoring the progress of ongoing structural reforms to decide on the timing of the additional antideflation measures, which will follow the antideflation package announced Feb. 27.

“Tax reform, including tax cuts, is an important issue, but there are things we have to consider, such as an assessment of tax reform, deregulation and disposal of bad loans,” he said.

Fukuda also said he realizes the ruling parties are calling for antideflation measures to be drawn up immediately.

“I understand how they feel,” he said, “but we need adequate discussions on matters such as the timing and the methods.”

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