Business English Lite
2012/06/20

Japan cross-party agreement opens way for tax rise and welfare reforms 日本の超党派的合意は、増税と福祉制度改革の道を開く

Japan’s main ruling and opposition parties have agreed to double the 5 per cent consumption tax by 2015. This occurred in an unusual show of political purpose to address government deficits in the world’s third-largest economy. The agreement was reached late on Friday after weeks of talks. It opens the way for a tax rise and welfare reform legislation to be passed before the current Diet session ends on Thursday.

Yoshihiko Noda, Japan’s prime minister, has identified fiscal sustainability as the top priority of his Democratic party-led administration. Japan’s gross state debt is more than twice annual gross domestic product, while new bond sales have been a bigger source of government revenue than taxes for four consecutive years.

Japan’s large domestic savings pool and current account surpluses have made it easy for the government to fund state debt.

Some of the ruling party’s most powerful politicians, including former leader Ichiro Ozawa, are expected to vote against a tax increase that they say is a betrayal of the policies that helped bring the DPJ to power in 2009.

Key Vocabularies :
deficits [noun] 必要な金額に足りない合計金額、負債,   legislation [noun] 政府によって制定された法律,   fiscal [adj] 財政に関すること,   revenue [noun] 歳入、税金やその他の方法から政府へ入ってきて、公費の支払いに充てられるお金,   surplus [noun] 余剰、必要以上の量,  

Quiz

本文の内容や単語について問う問題です。問題は全部で5問あります。是非チャレンジしてみて下さい。

1.

According to the article, why did the main party and the opposition work together to raise the consumption tax?

 

2.

Why has it been easy for the Japanese government to fund state debt?

 
Look at the underlined word or phrase and choose the answer that is closest in meaning.

3.

Japan’s gross state debt is more than twice annual gross domestic product, while new bond sales have been a bigger source of government revenue than taxes for four consecutive years.

In this case, consecutive years would mean the fiscal years of

 

4.

Some of the ruling party’s most powerful politicians, including former leader Ichiro Ozawa, are expected to vote against a tax increase that they say is a betrayal of the policies that helped bring the DPJ to power in 2009.

If you betray someone, that means that you are

 

5.

How is the average Japanese consumer most likely going to behave, at least initially, if the consumption tax is doubled?

 
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