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June 07, 2012 at 09:41 AM EDT
Key Opposition Parties OK Talks On Consumption Tax Hike Bills
Not be out done in the global race to be the next Japan: Key Opposition Parties OK Talks On Consumption Tax Hike Bills June 7 (Kyodo) — Japan’s two key opposition parties decided Thursday to hold talks with the ruling Democratic Party of Japan on revising legislation to carry out social security and tax reforms, [...]

Not be out done in the global race to be the next Japan:

Key Opposition Parties OK Talks On Consumption Tax Hike Bills

June 7 (Kyodo) — Japan’s two key opposition parties decided Thursday to hold talks with the ruling Democratic Party of Japan on revising legislation to carry out social security and tax reforms, lawmakers said, offering a glimmer of hope for the government as it seeks to push through the reforms, which include a sales tax hike.

The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party formally signaled it would join the tax revision talks as requested by the DPJ, the lawmakers said.

In a shift of position, the LDP’s ally, the New Komeito party, also agreed to join the talks and make clear its stance on the reforms.

The three largest political parties will make arrangements on when to start the talks.

While the latest move marks a step forward in Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s goal to have the legislation passed during the current parliamentary session, it remains uncertain whether the parties can narrow their differences over the reforms.

Noda also faces a difficult task over the tax issue, as LDP chief Sadakazu Tanigaki, though a tax hike proponent, is expected to press Noda to dissolve the lower house at an early date in return for cooperation in passing the legislation.

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