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Japan raises consumption tax to 10%

Country's economy faces major test, as all eyes fall on consumer confidence

The fare table is replaced at the JR Shinjuku station in Tokyo at the turn of midnight Tuesday. (Photo by Kai Fujii) 

TOKYO -- Japan hiked its consumption tax rate to 10% from 8% on Tuesday as the government scrambles to cover the ever-growing cost of supporting the country's aging population.

Tokyo has put extensive measures in place to prevent the move from squeezing consumption too hard, based on past experience. But it remains to be seen how deep an impact Tuesday's hike will have on Japan's economy.

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