The head of a Japanese business lobby said a planned sales tax hike should proceed in October to sustain the social security system for a rapidly graying population, despite calls from elsewhere to postpone it given growing economic challenges.

The intensifying Sino-U.S. trade war and slowing Chinese economy threaten to derail Japan's export-reliant economy, keeping alive expectations that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may forego a twice-delayed increase in the national sales tax.

"Economic uncertainties persist even now but I don't think they will morph into a crisis on the scale of a Lehman shock, so I want (the hike) to proceed," said Akio Mimura, head of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which represents small and medium-sized businesses.