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Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirohisa Fujii indicated Monday he would seek legislation by March 2012 for a tax overhaul that will include a hike in the consumption tax.

“Both the ruling and opposition camps should faithfully observe” a fiscal 2009 tax reform law that called for legislation for the tax overhaul within fiscal 2011, Fujii said in a television program after being named to the post in Friday’s Cabinet reshuffle carried out by Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Fujii, a former finance minister, said major political parties should agree on the legislation at suprapartisan talks.

The fiscal 2009 law, enacted under the coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito before the Democratic Party of Japan took charge in September 2009, seeks legislation by fiscal 2011 to implement tax changes at a date that could be established separately.

The DPJ-led Cabinet, for its part, put forward a plan late last year to present a tax and social security reform proposal by the middle of 2011, while falling short of specifying any legislative schedule.

Sengoku libel suits

Senior Democratic Party of Japan politician Yoshito Sengoku filed libel suits Monday against publishers Bungeishunju Ltd. and Shinchosha Publishing Co. for running articles in weekly magazines that implied he sexually harassed female reporters.

The suits filed with the Tokyo District Court seek ¥10 million in damages each from Bungeishunju and Shinchosha and demand that apologies be printed over the articles.

According to the suits, the weeklies on Jan. 13 reported that Sengoku, who was then chief Cabinet secretary, touched the body of a female reporter and repeated sexual remarks at a yearend party with the reporter last month.

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