Gov't plans 5% rebates for some cashless payments after tax hike
Japan Today -- Nov 23
Japan plans to give a 5 percent reward-point rebate to consumers on some payments made through credit cards and other cashless means as a way of underpinning domestic demand after a planned tax increase next October, government officials said Thursday.

The special measure, expected to last for roughly nine months until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, was expanded from an earlier plan to implement a 2 percent rebate program.

Fumio Kishida, policy chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, told reporters that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had informed him of the plan in a meeting at the premier's office.

The rebate will be handed out in the form of reward points rather than cash, and will not apply to payments made at large store chains, according to officials with knowledge of the plan.

The initiative is part of a series of steps the Japanese government plans to take to ensure that raising the consumption tax from the current 8 percent to 10 percent does not put the brakes on economic activity.

It is also intended to encourage greater use of cashless methods in payment as dependence on cash among Japanese consumers is relatively high.

政府は来年10月の消費税引き上げの際の景気対策として、キャッシュレス決済を利用した場合のポイント還元を検討していて、政府はこれまで増税した2%分を還元する方向で調整していたが、安倍総理は22日、2019年10月~2020年6月までに限って5%のポイント還元を検討する考えを示した
News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
Dec 15
Japan's central government is pushing ahead with a controversial plan to relocate an American military base within the southern prefecture of Okinawa. They've started full-scale land reclamation work despite strong local opposition. (NHK)
Dec 15
A court on Friday sentenced a 26-year-old man to 18 years in prison for a highway road rage incident last year in which a couple died and their two teenage daughters were injured. (Japan Times)
Dec 15
The government will temporarily suspend an extra medical fee that pregnant women were required to pay out of pocket to see doctors, health minister Takumi Nemoto said Friday. (Japan Times)
Dec 15
Japanese education companies are expanding their language offerings overseas, seeing business opportunities in meeting growing demand for Japanese-speaking foreign manpower as the nation opens its doors to workers from overseas. (Nikkei)
Dec 14
A Japanese government panel says a run of growth that began in December 2012 has now become the second-longest period of expansion in the post-war era. But that verdict comes as Japan struggles with sluggish wage growth and a chronic labor shortage. (NHK)
Dec 14
Traditional female entertainers in Kyoto have started offering early New Year greetings. (NHK)
Dec 14
The Japanese government plans to take measures to make regional labor markets accessible to foreign blue-collar workers to avoid them concentrating in large cities such as Tokyo when the country starts accepting them under the new visa system next year, the government's top spokesman said Thursday. (Japan Today)
Dec 14
Sixteen-year-old shogi prodigy Sota Fujii has reached his 100th victory in official matches of the Japanese board game, becoming the youngest professional player to reach the milestone at the fastest pace in history. (Japan Today)
Dec 12
Japan is seeking to possess its first aircraft carrier to allow for the deployment of U.S.-made stealth fighters as it seeks to bolster its arms capability under a new 10-year defense plan. (Japan Today)
Dec 12
A court in Beijing has sentenced a Japanese man in his 70s who was arrested in China in June 2015 to 12 years in prison for spying, sources well-informed about Sino-Japanese relations said Tuesday. (Japan Today)