Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said Thursday the government might raise the consumption tax rate in fiscal 2007.

“We should discuss the consumption tax (increase) so that it can be realized in fiscal 2007,” he told the House of Councilors Committee on Financial Affairs.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has pledged not to raise the value-added tax while in office. His current term as president of the governing Liberal Democratic Party ends in September 2006.

The consumption tax was introduced in April 1989 at 3 percent. It was increased to 5 percent in April 1997.

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