• Kyodo

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The government said Friday it has started sending inspectors to more than 260 companies suspected of not allowing smaller wholesalers or subcontractors to pass on cost increases stemming from the consumption tax hike in April.

The move is based on a survey conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Fair Trade Commission between Nov. 1 and Nov. 25. The survey covered 150,000 small and midsize companies, with a total of 10,209 companies responding.

About 7.3 percent of the respondents, or 750 companies, said they have not been allowed to shift cost increases or are concerned that such a situation could occur.

The 750 companies that complained about the situation are in the construction, wholesale and retail sectors, as well as the manufacturing industry.

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