Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso told Asian and European finance ministers Friday that Tokyo will firmly maintain its fiscal reform goal through fiscal 2020 despite its recent decision to further delay the sales tax hike.
At the Asia-Europe Meeting in Ulan Bator, the ministers shared the view that Britain’s possible exit from the European Union could have “significant spillovers on global economic growth,” recognizing the issue as one of the “existing geopolitical tensions.”
In the gathering, Aso also said the Japanese government will work on reforms to curb social security expenditures, which have been growing rapidly amid an aging society and becoming the main cause of the nation’s ballooning debt.
“There were no objections” over Japan’s decision and its stance to stick with the fiscal consolidation goal, Aso told reporters after the meeting in the Mongolian capital.
The meeting came after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided to push back the scheduled hike of the country’s consumption tax to October 2019 from April 2017, as consumer spending has remained lackluster while China and other emerging economies face slowing growth amid declining commodity prices and weakening demand.