Crunch Time for Japan's Noda

In this day of worldwide austerity, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda stands out as politician who has literally bet his political life on the proposition that he can get Parliament to raise taxes. Whether he can pull this off will become apparent over the next two weeks as his bills to effectively double the national sales tax must clear both houses of parliament by June 21when the current session officially winds up. It is uncertain whether he can extend the parliament’s life further if he needs to pass the bills.

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