Japan puts off tax hikes for defense until ‘2024 or later’

TOKYO — Japan’s ruling coalition on Friday decided that tax increases to fund higher defense spending will not take place before 2024, effectively putting off a debate on when and by how much the taxpayer burden should rise for a major defense buildup.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and coalition partner Komeito adopted tax guidelines for fiscal 2023 that incorporate Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s call to bring in over 1 trillion yen ($7.3 billion) in additional tax revenue a year. The increases will cover corporate, income and tobacco taxes.

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