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Is Japan's Finance Ministry pushing fiscal reform for its own sake?

Government has a responsibility to lay out the pros and cons of tax hikes, spending cuts

From left, Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attend a parliamentary session in January.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- During this April's local elections in Japan, one campaign poster caught my eye. It advertised a candidate who "comes from the Finance Ministry" yet "opposes tax hikes."

"You may think everyone from the Finance Ministry is plotting to raise taxes, but you can rest assured that I'm different" is presumably the message the candidate wanted to convey.

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