April 20, 2016 / 3:12 AM / in 2 years

Japan's Suga: Situation after Kyushu quakes not like post-March 2011

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s top government spokesman said on Wednesday conditions following the deadly earthquakes in the southern island of Kyushu this month were not similar to the situation after the natural disasters in March 2011.

Rescue workers and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers conduct search and rescue operations at site where collapsed houses by a landslide caused by an earthquake in Minamiaso town, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 20, 2016. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has repeatedly said the government would raise the sales tax as planned next April barring a major financial crisis or natural disasters on the scale of the earthquakes and tsunamis in 2011.

Suga also said the government has never considered raising the sales tax in stages, by one percentage point at a time, after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s policy chief said in an interview with the Nikkei business daily that the government could consider such a move if the economy was not strong enough to endure a bigger rise.

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim

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