Cost at pump to drop until April-end vote
By MASAMI ITO Staff writer
The Diet, however, approved a stopgap bill to maintain until the end of May various other special tax measures that would have expired Monday, the final day of fiscal 2007. This step was also part of the government's original tax package.
"The moment has finally arrived when we can (meet the public's expectations for) lower gasoline prices at a time when (the cost of) everything else is rising," said Yukio Hatoyama, secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan, the top opposition force.
"I would like to apologize from the bottom of my heart (because) the public will now have to pay for (the Diet) failing to resolve (the gasoline price issue) politically," Fukuda said during a news conference.
Desperate to curb the sinking support rate for his Cabinet, Fukuda and the Liberal Democratic Party-New Komeito ruling coalition spent all of last week trying to negotiate with the opposition parties to maintain the provisional auto-related tax rates.
The Japan Times: Tuesday, April 1, 2008
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