Just as Japan braces itself for a hike in the sales tax to 10 percent on Oct. 1, one of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's would-be rivals is calling for it to be abolished altogether.

Taro Yamamoto, a former actor who is now the leader of an upstart party that won two seats in July's Upper House election, says the increase from the current 8 percent will put a chill on consumption, despite the government's efforts to alleviate such concerns.

"It's not normal to raise it to 10 percent," Yamamoto, the leader of Reiwa Shinsengumi, said in an interview in Tokyo. "I can only call it crazy." The psychological effect of hiking the tax to an easily calculated round number will be to prompt consumers to "put the brakes on," he said.