Japan's lower parliament passes tax increase

Prime minister risks party split in negotiating new tax aimed at shrinking massive public debt.

    Japan's lower house of parliament has voted to double the sales tax to 10 per cent by 2015, as the government tries to grapple with massive public debt.

    Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, had staked his career and his government on getting the tax rise through parliament; he struck a deal with the opposition to ensure its passage. But his biggest challenge came from within his own Democratic Party – with the powerful Ichiro Ozawa and 56 of his supporters voting against their leader.

    The party now faces a split which could end its period in office. The question now is whether raising the sales tax will be a first step towards paying down Japan’s 12 trillion dollar public debt – or will it mean still less tax revenue in the long term.

    The opposition-controlled upper house should give its approval to the bill within weeks.

    Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett reports.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    This part of 'The Crusades: An Arab Perspective' explores the birth of the Muslim revival in the face of the Crusades.

    Is Mexico the most dangerous country on earth?

    Is Mexico the most dangerous country on earth?

    Or does it just suffer from the misfortune of being a neighbour of the US?

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.