Kono Urges Solidarity Levy For Developing Nations

Kono urges solidarity levy for developing nations

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has called for an international solidarity levy to raise funds to help developing countries address poverty and other issues. Kono made the proposal at a symposium in Tokyo on Thursday.

The Foreign Ministry says 14 countries, including France and South Korea, have introduced the levy. These countries tax air tickets charged to passengers taking off from airports in the territories of countries implementing the scheme.

Kono said he regrets the fact that aid from developed countries is falling. He said Japan's official development assistance to developing countries has halved from its peak.

Kono said that given fiscal restraints facing developed countries, it will be quite difficult to turn around the situation.

He said an international solidarity levy would be one way to fill the financial gap without relying on national budgets.

Participants to the symposium adopted a declaration calling on the Japanese government to present a roadmap for introducing the levy in its outline of tax reforms for fiscal 2019. The declaration also urges the government to have a panel of experts study the proposal.