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Abe bracing for spring storm

TOKYO -- Despite the relative calm of the Japanese political landscape, a storm may be brewing this spring for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government as the sales tax goes up next month and Abe pushes for broader defense rights.

     "The consumption tax will rise in April, but we'll soften the snapback (in spending) with the 5.5 trillion yen ($52.8 billion) stimulus package," Abe told the upper house budget committee Tuesday. He stressed that every effort would be made to keep the recovery from stalling out.

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