Japan PM: Act Now, or We'll End Up Like Europe
He wants to double the national sales tax
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2012 6:48 AM CST
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda listens to a reporter's question during a press conference in Tokyo yesterday.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

(Newser) – With Japan's public debt twice the size of its GDP, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said the country needs to start making massive cuts to avoid the credit turmoil that has rocked Europe in recent months and caused credit downgrades across the eurozone yesterday, reports the AP. "Even France got its credit ratings changed," Noda said on a live TV talk show. "We'll be in a spotlight if Japan makes an impression that we are dwelling on the current fiscal policy and just let it slide. We must tackle the problems with considerable sense of crisis."

Noda shuffled his Cabinet yesterday, in an attempt to build support from the opposition and general public for cutting the deficit and raising the sales tax to 10% from its current 5%. With Japan's population on the decline, Noda said it's important that Japan reduce its debt burden, but his plans are unpopular with the public. "I will stake my political life to save and protect this country for future generations," he said.

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Showing 2 of 20 comments
Jan 14, 2012 7:45 AM CST
Japans economy has been terrible for 22 years. Europe on the other hand has only been doing poorly since the beginning of the second great republican depression Bush sent us into in 2008
Jan 14, 2012 7:31 AM CST
5%, In Canada we been at over 10 % ( combined fed, prov.) for as long as I can remember.and our SS just went up another 2 %. Guess that's the cost one have to pay , to keep the AAA + rating, our social benefits, and not pass on costs to the next generation.