Japan’s prime minister Yoshihiko Noda has vowed to push forward his plans of raising the sales tax, despite the pressure from his own party, where nine members said they would quit as a sign of protest.
In a statement delivered at New Delhi, during his visit in India, Noda said he was aware of the resignations plans, but that the tax rise must go ahead, since delaying the issue could “endanger the future of the Japanese people”.
“These tax revenues (raised through the sales tax rise) will be returned to the Japanese people in the form of pension and medical benefits. We have to raise taxes to maintain the social security system,” he said.
The money would be used to pay for the rising social costs and to control the high public debt.
“We will not deviate,” Noda vowed.
Several lawmakers opposed the measure, saying that Japan’s already suffering economy would be hurt by sudden price raises.
The Democratic Party of Japan intends to raise the tax from the current level of 5 percent to 8 percent in October 2013 and to 10 percent in April 2015, it announced after a meeting held in Tokyo on Wednesday.