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The Finance Ministry is studying measures to issue inflation-linked bonds, the ministry’s top bureaucrat said Monday.

“We must think about policy on bonds from a broad perspective, and the issuance of inflation-linked bonds is one matter that should be studied,” Vice Finance Minister Toshiro Muto told a news conference.

Muto added, however, that the issuance of inflation-linked bonds, which would link maturity payouts with inflation levels prevalent at that time, would involve taxation and technical problems that would need to be addressed.

“If preparations are not in place, the issuance of such bonds will not be possible, and the idea is to prepare such an environment,” Muto said. “But what kind of bonds will be issued at what time would require another decision.”

The ministry is keen to provide a greater variety of government bonds to stimulate demand.

As part of a ministry plan to this end, it plans to issue bonds specifically targeting individual investors next year.

Tax revenues downJiji PressJapan’s general-account tax revenue in July fell 17.3 percent from a year earlier to 3.81 trillion, down for the 11th straight month, the Finance Ministry said Monday.

The decline resulted from lower revenue from interest tax on matured postal savings and massive corporate tax refunds, an official of the ministry’s Tax Bureau said.

Income tax receipts dropped 15.1 percent to 2.81 trillion. Individual income taxes withheld from wages and other income fell 17.1 percent to 2.38 trillion due to reduced summer bonus payments, the official said.

The government posted 246.08 billion in net corporate tax refunds, against 60.23 billion in corporate tax receipts a year before.

In the reporting month, the government refunded about 500 billion in corporate tax to companies that closed their books in March, the official said. The figure illustrates a deterioration in corporate earnings, he said.

The ministry said consumption tax revenue was nearly flat at 430.09 billion, a decline of 0.2 percent.

Liquor tax income was down 3.4 percent at 142.22 billion as beer sales slumped, the official said.

By the end of July, the government had collected 14.2 percent of the total tax revenue projected under the general-account budget for fiscal 2002, down from the year-before level of 17.3 percent.

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