Kishida Orders Talks on Allowing Gasoline Tax Cut

REUTERS/Brittany Hosea-Small
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a summit discussion on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, at the Stanford, California, U.S., November 17, 2023.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday ordered his ruling Liberal Democratic Party to hold talks with two other parties on the possibility of a temporary cut in gasoline tax.

Kishida instructed LDP policy chief Koichi Hagiuda to hold talks with his counterparts from Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, and the opposition Democratic Party for the People on the possibility of lifting the freeze on the so-called trigger clause to enable the tax cut.

The instruction came after DPFP leader Yuichiro Tamaki demanded the lifting of the freeze at a parliamentary meeting earlier on Wednesday. Tamaki sought to remove the freeze after subsidies aimed at curbing prices for oil for fuel expire at the end of April next year.

In response, Kishida said that the ruling coalition and the DPFP will consider the possibility of lifting the freeze.

Hagiuda told reporters after receiving the instruction from Kishida that he is willing to consider a wide range of options that can replace the subsidies.

Some government and ruling coalition officials remain cautious about removing the freeze on the trigger clause. The three parties failed to reach agreement on the matter when they previously discussed it in March last year.