As Japanese families gathered earlier this month for the traditional “Obon” festival honoring ancestors, some elderly parents broached an awkward but increasingly critical topic: planning for inheritance.
Japan’s government will increase the inheritance tax rate in January, while tax relief measures on gifting will be expanded, in moves aimed at encouraging wealthy, older Japanese to either spend or pass on their savings before they die.
In years to come, the change would release billions of dollars languishing in savings accounts into the hands of a younger generation and promote investments in stocks and property, giving the economy an extra push as it emerges from nearly two decades of deflation.
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