Abe's blame game reveals his policies failing to get results
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, January 28, 2016. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday he wants the new economy minister, Nobuteru Ishihara, to continue the government's efforts to push through structural reforms. [Photo/Agencies]
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has once again postponed the country's consumption tax hike.
Japan was originally scheduled to increase the tax from 8 percent to 10 percent in October 2015, but it was postponed until April 2017, with the promise of no more delay. But on June 1, Abe ate his words by putting the hike off again to October 2019.
Abe highlighted economic weakness in China and a slowdown in emerging markets as his reason for the second postponement, asserting that "Abenomics is steadily producing positive results".
But Abe's decision has been questioned by foreign and Japanese media.
The New York Times said it amounted to an admission that the country's economy remained "worryingly fragile".
Japan's media is also worried. The Mainichi Shimbun said the delay raises questions about the future of Japan's economy. The newspaper criticized Abe for his explanation that Japan needs to "prepare for a new crisis involving the world economy".