A Tax Revolt in Japan, and a Bond Bubble Too

As the government tries a tax hike to cut the debt, bonds boom
Housewives protest a tax hike, nuclear energy, and a free-trade pact Photograph by Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

About 200 housewives marched down a shopping street in central Tokyo, beating pans with ladles and shouting slogans criticizing a government plan to double Japan’s 5 percent consumption tax. “Ordinary people like us have a limited amount of money we can spend each month,” says Natsuyo Makabe, a protester who took part in three demonstrations in June against the tax hike as well as nuclear energy and a free-trade pact. “Ninety-nine percent of the public will have to cut back on what they buy.”

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