Ministry to monitor business deals linked to higher sales tax
(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TOKYO, Oct. 2 -- (Kyodo) _ The industry ministry set up Wednesday a nationwide network of inspectors to check for large-scale retailers not allowing small and midsize wholesalers to pass cost increases stemming from the higher sales tax onto wholesale prices.
The organization was launched a day after the Japanese government announced a decision to raise the tax rate to 8 percent from the current 5 percent in April.
About 600 investigators have been hired from among people with knowledge of corporate accounting practices like certified tax accountants and former bankers, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry said.
The inspectors are assigned to METI's regional offices across the country and the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency, a METI arm, as well as the Japan Fair Trade Commission to monitor whether large-scale retailers engage in practices of nonpayment or deduction of increased cost from the tax hike to small and midsize suppliers.
"Your duty will be to pick up complaints from small and midsize companies on a one-by-one basis, and it will be a duty that requires quiet dedication and patience," Industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at a ceremony to mark inauguration of the inspection network, which was attended by 250 of the investigators.
The investigators will gather evidence of such practices on the basis of tips provided by smaller suppliers or by conducting a questionnaire-based survey, and will make the name of retailers public if the cases involving them are deemed vicious, according to the ministry.
(c) 2013 Kyodo News International, Inc.
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