Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s administration is not planning to raise the 5 percent consumption tax in the near future, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Monday, dismissing a government panel’s proposal to the contrary.

“The prime minister believes the government has many things to do before studying a raise in the consumption tax,” Fukuda said.

The government’s Tax Commission endorsed an outline of tax reforms for fiscal 2003 on Friday, featuring a call to raise the sales tax.

The prime minister believes his administration should first strengthen budget discipline and change the financial structure in order to help pull the nation out of its chronic budgetary deficit, Fukuda said.

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