Trade dispute with U.S. may affect tax reforms in Japan, tax chief says

JIJI

The tough stance U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to adopt on trade with Japan in a bid to win re-election in 2020 may affect the course of tax reform, according to Minoru Nakazato, chairman of the government’s Tax Commission.

Following the recent decision by General Motors Co. to halt operations of five assembly plants in North America, “Foreign automakers (including Japanese automakers) will likely be attacked,” Nakazato said in a seminar hosted by Jiji Press in New York on Friday.

“It’s not an issue of whether the claim is correct,” Nakazato said. “What matters is whether it’s appealing politically.”

With Japan set to raise its consumption tax rate to 10 percent from the current 8 percent in October next year, the tax panel chief signified a sense of vigilance by saying, “It’s unpredictable what kind of move the Trump administration will make and how the Japanese economy will be affected by the move.”