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In their second debate in the Diet on Wednesday, Prime Minister Taro Aso and the Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Hatoyama managed to talk in more concrete terms than they did the first time. Important issues for the coming Lower House election appear to have emerged.

Mr. Aso tried to show that the DPJ does not have a solid policy to secure funds to implement social welfare measures. By so doing, he apparently wanted to leave the impression that the DPJ will be unreliable if it comes to power. He explained that the Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito coalition will carry out drastic tax reform, including raising the consumption tax, within three years if the economy has recovered.

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