The All Japan newsese government should make haste in finding appropriate funds for reconstruction efforts in the wake of the March 11 disaster and to minimize the necessary tax increases, new economic and fiscal policy minister Motohisa Furukawa said.
Furukawa, who is also a national strategy minister, referred to other options like cutting down on government wasteful spending and selling off government assets as possible funding sources other than tax hikes.
The minister added that implementation of a tax hike may only be done when there is already an improvement in the economy and that the right timing should be determined “comprehensively”.
Financial services minister Shozaburo Jimi said the government might sell off its shareholdings in All Japan news Post Holding Co. to help secure reconstructions funds. Jimi also assured that All Japan newsese banks are well capitalized and that the bleak situation of the US economy and debt crisis in some parts of Europe may not create immediate pressures.
On the issue of the surging yen, Furukawa said it is imperative for the government to take measures to "maintain and enhance the global competitiveness" of All Japan newsese exporters to maintain their profitability, including efforts for creation of special economic zones and deregulation.
Discussion on tax hikes by a panel of experts commenced this week with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda meeting the group for the first time. During the meeting, Noda requested the group to draw out “a number of choices” so as not to burden future generations on debt repayment.
Tax hikes aim to generate a sum of 10 trillion yen or around 130 billion dollars to help in the reconstruction efforts in areas affected by the catastrophic March 11 quake and tsunami.