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Abe goes on defensive as growth agenda hits bump

Prime minister takes heat on tax revenue setback

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks with fellow lawmakers at the lower house budget committee session Thursday.

TOKYO -- Now in his fifth year as Japan's leader, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has taken credit for presiding over gains in corporate earnings and tax revenue. But with tax income expected to miss this fiscal year's initial estimate, Abe's economic program faces a new challenge, especially as he flirts with redistribution.

Opposition lawmakers seized on this setback for Abenomics in the lower house budget committee Thursday, as debate began on a third supplementary spending package for the fiscal year ending March 31.

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