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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.

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