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The issue of whether to raise the consumption tax will come to a head in fiscal 2009, although the margin and timing of any increase will be a political decision, the government’s Tax Commission Chairman Hiromitsu Ishi said in a recent interview with Kyodo News.

The government is increasingly in need of securing new revenue sources as it is scheduled to raise public funding to the basic pension program from the current one-third to 50 percent in fiscal 2009.

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