At a time when households are increasingly feeling the pain of soaring prices and declining real wages, talks of a tax cut should be music to voters’ ears.

However, when Prime Minister Fumio Kishida put forward his intentions to cut income and residence taxes to ease inflation, there was a chorus of skepticism, with many viewing the decision as a stunt before a potential snap election.

Some even saw the cut as an attempt by the unpopular leader to get rid of his nickname zozei-megane, or “the four-eyed tax-hiker” — a pejorative moniker Kishida earned due to his ambitious policies involving massive expenditures in areas such as defense and child care spending. The handle, which originally spread among Japanese netizens, has gained increasing favor, even becoming the subject of questioning in parliament.