Gov't tax panel kicks off discussions on longer-term tax issues

The government's tax panel on Monday began discussions on longer-term tax issues, such as how to prevent tax avoidance by multinational corporations, one of the items on the agenda of the Group of Eight summit last week.

At the first meeting of the Tax Commission since the government led by the Liberal Democratic Party was formed on Dec. 26, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged members of the panel to consider how to implement tax measures that can simultaneously achieve economic growth and fiscal consolidation.

The tax panel of Abe's LDP will also begin debating tax reform plans for the next fiscal year in September, two months earlier than usual, to map out concrete tax measures to bolster business investment, which Abe has pledged to incorporate in a second version of the government's economic growth strategy scheduled to be crafted later this year.

Abe's government has said it will make a decision around October regarding whether to implement a planned hike in the sales tax rate from next year.

At the meeting of the Tax Commission on Monday, Minoru Nakazato, a professor at the University of Tokyo, was tapped as chairman of the commission that advises Abe.

Under the previous government led by the Democratic Party of Japan, which was in power from 2009 to late last year, finance ministers headed the panel.

The panel plans to draw up Japan's vision for international rule-making on how to tackle tax evasion by companies operating globally.

In a communique released after their summit in Northern Ireland, the G-8 leaders agreed to "global solutions to the problems of tax evasion and tax avoidance."