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Japan after Abe

Suga says consumption tax hike inevitable, then backtracks

Abe's likely successor confirms 'no raise necessary for 10 years'

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga speaks to reporters at the Liberal Democratic Party headquarters on Sept. 8.   © Reuters

TOKYO/NEW YORK -- Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who is leading the race to become Japan's next prime minister, suggested Thursday that the nation's consumption tax needs to be raised beyond the current 10% in the future, citing the rapidly aging population.

"When we think about the future, we have no choice but to raise the rate again, after carrying out thorough administrative reforms," Suga said in an appearance on TV Tokyo. "No matter how hard we try, Japan's population is going to shrink."

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