The Cabinet of Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Friday approved an outline of integrated social security and tax reforms, which brings Noda one step closer to achieving his policy goal of raising Japan's consumption tax rate.
The government and the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) on Jan. 6 finalized the outline to increase the country's sales tax rate from the current 5 percent to 8 percent in April 2014 and to 10 percent in October 2015.
Noda has been calling for cross-party talks to gain support on the reforms. But the opposition camp has so far rejected his calls.
The government and the DPJ will continue to seek dialogue with the opposition parties, including the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, lawmakers said.
The opposition party's cooperation is needed for the passage of legislation in the divided Diet, where the ruling party lacks a majority in the upper house.