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A major battle may well have started between the office of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Finance Ministry — the most powerful bureaucracy in Japan — as the deadline approaches for deciding whether to raise the consumption tax rate from the current 8 percent to 10 percent from Oct. 1, 2015, as provided by law, a veteran economist says.

The fight, he adds, could be the fiercest of its kind in Japan’s postwar history.

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