Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's cabinet approved a bill Friday to double the nation's consumption tax by 2015 in a move that could put Noda's job in jeopardy, given the strong opposition to it among his own party members and the public, dpa reported.
The bill would raise the current 5-per-cent sales tax in two stages: to 8 per cent in April 2014 and to 10 per cent in October 2015.
The hike is an initiative by Noda aimed at whittling away at Japan's budget deficit - which, at nearly 200 per cent of its gross domestic product, is the largest in the world - and covering social security costs in ageing Japan.
He was expected to have a hard time getting it passed in the Diet.
It was also expected to bring him trouble within the ruling coalition.