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Japan Warns on Bank Tax to Cover Bailouts
Source: japantoday.com
Source Date: Saturday, June 26, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Thematic Website, Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement
Country: Japan
Created: Jun 28, 2010

The Japanese government on Friday urged caution on a proposal for a global tax on banks to pay for future bailouts.

Asked about the contentious bank tax, a spokesman for new Prime Minister Naoto Kan said countries must be very careful not to apply across-the-board regulatory measures.

A “one-size-fits-all kind of approach may not be productive,” Kazuo Kodama, press secretary for Japan’s foreign ministry, told reporters on the sidelines of this week’s global economic summits of the Group of 8 and Group of 20 countries.

Kan, who is making his diplomatic debut as prime minister, also believes that strong economic growth can be encouraged even as officials make the financial reforms needed to guard against future economic turmoil, Kodama said.

The issue of a bank tax meant to shield the public from the cost of resolving future financial crises has proved divisive among the nations gathering in Canada.

The G-20 includes the world’s wealthiest industrial countries, plus major developing nations such as China, India and Brazil; it was designated last year as the top policy-setting group for dealing with global financial issues.

The G-8 groups France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Russia.

The United States, Britain, France and Germany back the bank tax. Countries such as Canada and Australia, where banks survived the global crisis intact, oppose it.

In Japan, Kan’s government has laid out ambitious goals to provide for an aging, declining population and to contain its growing public debt, which last year reached 218.6% of its gross domestic product, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Japan aims to cut in half the annual budget deficit as a percentage of its economy by 2015. It also wants to reduce total public debt, reconstruct the country’s social security system, and oversee comprehensive tax reform.
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