Japan PM has no plan to tweak sales tax to fund childcare measures

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attends a roundtable interview with members of the foreign media at his official residence in Tokyo, Japan April 20, 2023. REUTERS/Issei Kato

By Yukiko Toyoda

TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday he has no plan now to raise Japan’s sales tax rate, when asked about plans to fund new childcare measures aimed at encouraging people to have more children.

Support for childcare is a top priority in the world’s third-largest economy, where the number of births fell below 800,000 last year for the first time on record.

One influential politician from Kishida’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party told Reuters this month that the government should spend around 5 trillion yen ($37.2 billion) on a new plan, adding that extra debt issuance would not be ruled out.

Kishida, who has pledged to double Japan’s spending on childcare, said during a roundtable interview with members of the overseas media in Tokyo that he had no plan at present to tweak the sales tax rate to help fund new measures.

($1 = 134.5600 yen)


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