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Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)

Liberalization of Gas Supply Expected in 2016

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) plans to move forward with liberating the gas market for households in 2016. In doing so, the ministry is hoping that the increased competition in the market will lead to decreased prices and enhanced services.

Special Advisory Panel Backs Consumption Tax Hike

Special Advisory Panel Backs Consumption Tax Hike

According to the Nikkei Shimbun, more than 70% of the members of a special advisory panel believe that the consumption tax should be increased as planned. Eight people sought a change in the gain increase citing the possible adverse effects on efforts to tackle deflation, and six people proposed an extension or opposed a tax hike entirely. 

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

Former Prime Minster Koizumi Renounces Nuclear Power

In an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun, former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made clear his anti-nuclear energy stance. He commented that Japan has “no choice but to get rid of nuclear power” and that the move towards zero nuclear power should happen now otherwise “eliminating nuclear power will become more difficult in the future.”

Akira Amari, the Minister for Economic Revitalization

Amari: Consumption Tax Decision to Come Before APEC Summit

In an interview with NHK regarding the possible consumption tax increase, Akira Amari, the Minister for Economic Revitalization, stated that he believes “it [the decision] will come before the APEC summit meeting at the latest.” The APEC summit is scheduled to begin on October 7.

Shinzo Abe

Abe battles doctors' lobby over 'Third Arrow' reform

Reuters summarizes well the discussion on liberalization of mix treatment under the National Health Insurance scheme.  On one side of the argument is the 165,000-member JMA and health ministry officials, who say they want to protect the cherished principle of universality in a system that has been the envy of much of the developed world.

Shinzo Abe

Consumption Tax Increase: Tapping into Public Opinion

The Wall Street Journal reports that in efforts to include the view of the people on the proposed consumption tax increase, Prime Minister Abe has gathered a group of 59 “knowledgeable people” to express their opinions starting Monday of next week. They will face a panel consisting of Minister for Economic Revitalization Akira Amari, Minister of Finance Taro Aso and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda. According to Amari, the aim of the hearings is to “provide Mr.