• Kyodo News

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Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has denied that scrapping tax surcharges on gasoline and automobiles but maintaining the same tax rates was the result of pressure from Ichiro Ozawa, secretary general of his Democratic Party of Japan.

His remarks came amid mounting speculation Hatoyama initially hoped to lower gasoline taxes but was forced to decide against it because of pressure from Ozawa, who last week called on the government to maintain most of the surcharges.

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