[TOKYO] Raising Japan's sales tax to 10 per cent from 8 per cent as planned from April would be the best way to win the trust of international society, unless special circumstances intervene, a close aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday.
Speaking to Reuters in an interview, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda also said he could not rule out the possibility that Abe would call a snap election for parliament's lower house if opposition parties submit a threatened no-confidence motion.
Speculation has swirled that Mr Abe would postpone the sales tax hike and call a snap general election in tandem with a scheduled poll for parliament's upper chamber on July 10.
"It has been decided (to raise the tax) from next April. As the prime minister has repeatedly said, unless a special situation arises, wouldn't going ahead as planned be the better way to win the trust of international society?" Mr Hagiuda said.
He added that he did not think the current economic situation warranted a change in the plan.