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First Lady Akie Abe said Thursday her husband’s administration should consider cutting wasteful spending and boosting the economy before going ahead with a rise in the consumption tax to 10 percent.

“Considering the falling birthrate and aging society, it probably can’t be helped,” she said in an interview at the prime minister’s office, referring to an eventual rise in the sales tax, a question Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is now wrestling with.

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