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Tokyo to extend tax break for savings scheme

New individual accounts would offer 10 years of tax-free investing

TOKYO -- The Japanese Ministry of Finance plans to create a new type of tax-free investment account with a longer exemption, aiming to encourage individuals to buy and hold stocks for the long term.

Japan's NISA program now lets individuals invest up to 1.2 million yen ($10,500) a year for five years without paying taxes on capital gains or dividends. The new "savings-type" accounts would halve the cap to 600,000 yen but double the length of the tax break to 10 years. Users would be limited to only certain types of long-term, diversified investment products. While both account types will coexist, individuals may not have both at the same time.

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