October 9, 2019
Tokyo--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday pledged efforts so that the public will get used to the two-tier tax system introduced when the consumption tax was raised Oct. 1.
The government will provide full support to ensure the smooth implementation of the system, Abe told a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament.
Japan raised the consumption tax to 10 pct from 8 pct. But a handful of items, such as food, are exceptions to which the 8 pct rate applies.
The government "will take all possible measures to stably operate the reduced tax system, including by providing consultation services for annual tax returns," he said.
Abe said the bilateral trade agreement signed Monday by Japan and the United States stipulates that negotiations will continue on a requested removal of U.S. tariffs on Japanese automobiles and auto parts.
"I have confirmed directly with U.S. President Donald Trump that U.S. additional tariffs being considered will not be imposed on Japanese vehicles or auto parts," Abe said.
Asked whether the United States should return to the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade agreement among Japan and 10 other countries, Abe said he believes it best that the TPP involves as many economies as possible, including the United States.
Abe referred to an envisaged visit to Japan by Chinese President Xi Jinping next spring.
The prime minister said he is resolved to promote exchanges with China at various levels in order to bring the bilateral relations to a new phase and pave the way for a new era for the two countries. Jiji Press
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