• Reuters

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A top government official said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should delay a planned consumption tax increase, the strongest sign yet that economic weakness is causing concern among those close to Abe ahead of his final decision on the levy.

“I think it should be delayed” by 1½ years to April 2017, the prominent official told a small group of people in a recent conversation on condition of anonymity. He expressed concern that raising the national sales tax too soon after a damaging hike in April could derail an economic recovery.

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