• Kyodo News

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Finance Minister Naoto Kan said Tuesday he agrees with Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa on the need to cut wasteful spending to help rebuild the nation’s tattered finances but has yet to hold detailed discussions with him on whether to raise the consumption tax to cover shortfalls.

Kan’s remarks came after Ozawa, the ruling party’s No. 2 and widely seen as the real power behind Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s government, expressed disapproval Monday of the DPJ’s plan to include in its platform for this summer’s Upper House campaign a pledge to increase the consumption tax after the next Lower House election.

Kan said it is his understanding that Ozawa meant it is necessary to take active pump-priming measures and to cut back on wasteful spending in reviewing the national budget, adding he agrees with that.

On whether they share the same view on tax reform, Kan said, “I haven’t talked about it with the secretary general.”

Ozawa said Monday that he believes the DPJ’s current policy pledges can be implemented for the time being by eliminating wasteful spending of public money.

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