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Abandoning sales tax hike not an option barring big shocks: Japan's Amari

Japan's newly-appointed minister for economic revival Akira Amari arrives at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo Decembe
Japan's newly-appointed minister for economic revival Akira Amari arrives at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo Decembe

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Economics Minister Akira Amari said on Tuesday that abandoning a planned increase in the sales tax is not an option unless there are significant external shocks to the economy such as the Lehman financial crisis.

Amari, speaking to reporters after a top government economic panel meeting, declined to comment whether there are alternative ways to raise the sales tax but said he would do the utmost to pave the way for the tax increases to be implemented as planned.

The planned increase in the sales tax is heavily indebted Japan's most significant fiscal reform in years but recent developments have suggested that it could be delayed or watered down.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Shinichi Saoshiro)

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