Companies in Japan are busy making last-minute preparations for a consumption tax hike that is set to go into effect on a variety of goods on October 1.
Consumption tax rates will go from 8 to 10 percent on Tuesday. The government says the increase is needed to help cover ballooning social security costs and pay down massive public debt.
Small retailers in Japan are scrambling to replace their cash registers, in the lead-up to a hike in the consumption tax.
Stores will need models that can handle two different tax rates to be introduced from October 1. Shoppers will be charged 8 percent for food and non-alcoholic beverages and 10 percent for other items. Large retailers like convenience stores don't need to make the switch, as they do their transactions online. But many small businesses have to adapt.
A close aide to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has hinted at the possibility of delaying a consumption tax hike scheduled for October.
The government is preparing to increase the tax from 8 to 10 percent on October 1, but comments by the Liberal Democratic Party's Acting Secretary General, Koichi Hagiuda, have cast doubt on that plan.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the government will be fully prepared for the upcoming consumption tax increase so as not to have a repeat of the decline in spending that followed the previous tax hike 4 years ago.
Abe made it clear on Monday that Japan's consumption tax will go up from the current 8 percent to 10 percent as planned in October 2019.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to express his intention to proceed with a planned consumption tax hike in less than a year. He will urge his ministers to take steps to ease the impact of the move at an extraordinary cabinet meeting Monday afternoon.
The government plans to raise the consumption tax rate from 8 to 10 percent on October 1st, 2019.