LDP’s Hagiuda suggests general election before tax hikes

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Council Chairman Koichi Hagiuda

Tokyo (Jiji Press) — Liberal Democratic Party policy chief Koichi Hagiuda suggested on Sunday that it is necessary to dissolve the House of Representatives for a general election once the government decides when to conduct tax hikes in efforts to cover higher defense spending.

“In the House of Councillors election in July, we didn’t promise that fiscal resources [for higher defense spending] would be secured through tax hikes,” Hagiuda pointed out in a television program.

“It’s certainly necessary to let the people make a judgment once a clear direction [for tax hikes] is mapped out,” the ruling party executive said.

The government and the ruling coalition have decided to increase corporate and some other taxes to partially finance a significant hike in defense expenditures, while leaving undecided the timing of the tax hikes, saying only that they would come at an appropriate time in or after 2024.

In the TV program, Hagiuda stressed that the LDP aims to make the planned tax hikes as small as possible through such efforts as spending reform.

He also reiterated his proposal to revise the government bond redemption rules to divert some redemption funds to defense expenses.