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Abe’s consumption tax hike has a target on its back

23 1 0

NEW YORK - China may take Japanese fiscal policy hostage.

The fallout from China’s slowdown is snaking its way through Asia’s economy — and the world — bit by bit, data point by data point. Japanese exports, long considered a strength, just took an enormous hit.

Shipments to the Middle Kingdom plummeted 17 percent in January, the Finance Ministry announced this week. Overall, exports fell 8.4 percent, surpassing the 5.7 percent drop penciled in by economists. That’s bad news for domestic bright spots like capital spending.

Numbers like this and you start to worry that Japan’s economy needs fresh stimulus — let alone a burden like the consumption tax increase that’s scheduled for October.

The hike has already been delayed twice. A predecessor has its iconic place in the pantheon of........

© The Japan Times