Abe eyes forgoing general election, deferring planned tax hike

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Tokyo, May 30 (IANS) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears likely to forgo a House of Representatives election in June despite calls for such a move from Finance Minister Taro Aso over the planned postponement of a consumption tax increase from next year, a senior ruling party lawmaker said on Monday.

“I don’t think there should be (a simultaneous holding of upper and lower house elections), and I took it that Abe feels the same way,” Kyodo news quoted Toshihiro Nikai, chairman of the general council of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, as saying.

Abe’s inclination to avoid seeking voters’ full mandate over the envisioned postponement by dissolving the lower house and calling a general election, despite his pledge to increase the tax next April, could spell trouble for his administration as the key cabinet minister voices opposition to his leader’s decision.

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