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The government has started the new Tax System Council. Headed by Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii, it consists only of Cabinet ministers and senior vice ministers — a sharp contrast to the days of the Liberal Democratic Party’s rule, when the council was composed mainly of scholars and business leaders. The new council’s makeup reflects the Democratic Party of Japan’s desire to carry out transparent tax policies under the leadership of the Cabinet.

The DPJ also abolished its own tax body — and one that the LDP had used in the past to deal with various interest groups’ demands behind the scenes when it was working out tax measures. The decisions of this body had superseded those of the Tax System Council, a government body.

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