Disaster reconstruction funds must be secured: LDP's Ishiba

A senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party stressed the need Sunday to secure fiscal resources for continued reconstruction of areas hit by the March 2011 disasters if a special corporate tax surcharge to fund rehabilitation projects is ended a year early.

"The LDP is worried about whether it will be possible to secure financial resources for reconstruction," Shigeru Ishiba, LDP secretary general, said on a Fuji Television Network program. "It is necessary to make efforts to secure resources in a convincing way."

The government plan to bring forward the end of the surcharge is aimed at decreasing the tax burden on the corporate sector prior to the planned sales tax hike next April to 8 percent from 5 percent. The proposal, however, has met resistance from ruling party lawmakers worried about the impact on reconstruction.

Ishiba also indicated that companies should make it clear how they will use the money to be generated by the tax reduction, apparently urging them to allocate it for wage hikes and capital investment.