Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has twice avoided raising the consumption tax, citing domestic and international economic uncertainties.

But it appears this time he will follow through, despite mixed economic signals and the tax's unpopularity among voters.

The Bank of Japan on Monday released the results of its April-June business sentiment survey better known as the tankan. The quarterly index shows that the confidence level among big manufacturers slipped from 12 in January-March to 7, sinking to its lowest level in about three years due to the slowdown of the Chinese economy and U.S.-China trade friction.