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
Nov 17
Japanese actress Erika Sawajiri was arrested Saturday on suspicion of possessing the synthetic drug MDMA at her home in Tokyo, police said. (Japan Today)
Nov 16
South Korean President Moon Jae-in told visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday it is difficult for Seoul to share military intelligence with Japan, while vowing to make continued efforts toward security cooperation among the three countries, according to the presidential Blue House. (Japan Times)
Nov 16
A popular tourist site on Mount Hakone was reopened Friday, ending a six-month closure caused by an increase in the volcanic alert level in the hot spring resort area, local authorities said. (Japan Times)
Nov 16
Japan's standardized university entrance exam will test only reading and listening skills for English in the 2020 academic year while placing more emphasis on listening than current exams, the government-backed exam setter said Friday. (Japan Today)
Nov 15
Japan's Emperor Naruhito has performed the main rite of the Daijosai, or Great Thanksgiving Ceremony, an enthronement ritual performed once in an Emperor's reign. (NHK)
Nov 15
The suspect in a deadly arson attack on a Kyoto Animation Co studio in July was sent back Thursday to a Kyoto hospital from one in Osaka Prefecture after undergoing multiple skin grafts. (Japan Today)
Nov 15
Convenience store operator FamilyMart Co said Thursday it will allow its franchise owners across Japan to shorten operating hours from March in a bid to address a severe labor shortage during late-night hours. (Japan Today)
Nov 14
Japan's space agency says its probe is on its way back to Earth after leaving the asteroid, Ryugu. (NHK)
Nov 14
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says the government will not hold a cherry blossom-viewing party next year, which is hosted every April by the prime minister. (NHK)
Nov 14
NHK has learned that a boy who was arrested for allegedly wounding a girl with a knife in northern Japan has suggested he was interested in killing someone. (NHK)