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(From The Yomiuri Shimbun/Daily Yomiuri)
Consumption tax debate divides govt, LDP
Shozo Nakayama and Shigeki Kurokawa / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writers
A tug-of-war among Cabinet members and Liberal Democratic Party executives over raising the consumption tax rate is rocking the government and ruling parties.
Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki and Kaoru Yosano, state minister in charge of financial, economic and fiscal policy, are insistent on a tax hike, while Hidenao Nakagawa, LDP Policy Research Council chairman, and Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Heizo Takenaka are cautious toward the idea.
It will be the key issue after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi steps down in September next year, and behind their remarks are political considerations for the post-Koizumi era. As a result, the differences in opinions over the consumption tax will not be easily resolved.