The government and ruling parties plan to exempt delivery and takeout foods from the upcoming consumption tax hike, senior coalition members said Tuesday.
The Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito have agreed to subject all food products except those served at restaurants to a lower tax rate when the government raises consumption tax to 10 percent in April 2017.
Dishes served at places where seats are available will be considered restaurant food, the individuals said.
They drew a line between restaurant items and processed foods based on the food sanitation law, which regulates the sanitary management of restaurants and cafes that cook food.
The plan, which will be included in tax reform policies for fiscal 2016, will be formally adopted by the ruling parties on Wednesday.
The tax on takeout foods bought at fast food restaurants as well as bento (boxed lunches) and prepared foods purchased and consumed at convenience stores will remain 8 percent.
Foods served with plates or utensils that need to be returned to restaurants located in such places as shopping mall food courts will not be exempt from the sales tax hike.
Catering services that involve staff delivering food to a venue and arranging it will also be fall under restaurant food.
Meanwhile, the exemption will also apply to newspapers sold on a subscription basis, but the parties plan to continue assessing whether to add books and magazines to the list.