Millions go on shopping spree ahead of sales tax hike
There are few things in life people enjoy more than paying a higher sales tax when they buy things. Time spent with family, photos of cute small animals, paying a high sales tax. These are the three things that make life worth living.
I haven't seen evidence of these "millions [on a] shopping spree," but we didn't venture out yesterday because of the weather. Saturday, however, seemed like business as usual here. But I have witnessed a flurry of news stories on TV covering the subject of the consumption tax increase. The Japanese public, if they've been paying attention, will certainly be well-informed on this topic and its potential effects. That's assuming the news reports have provided good information. And I don't see the why or wherefore of assuming otherwise. It's pretty straightforward stuff, news stories to the effect of, "Instead of paying an extra 5%, you're now going to pay an extra 8%. Here are some examples of price changes you'll see as a result."
From my experience, and I'm talking as a person who has only a slightly-more-than basic level of Japanese language ability, news programs here in Japan tend to be demonstrative. Like the one we watched with the segment on the icebound ship back in December. The presenter used a scale model to show how it happened. Another on a sign that fell even resorted to computer animation. Stories on the tax increase have used actual products and graphics of sales receipts. Things like that.
Anyway, the sales tax hike. A three percent increase doesn't seem like much, but we'll be subjected to analysis of the results for years to come. And, obviously, we'll get to experience it firsthand starting this week.
I can't wait!