Japan lower house votes to double consumption tax
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- The lower house of Japan's parliament on Tuesday voted in favor of a controversial bill to double the consumption tax rate to 10% by 2015, according to several media reports. The legislation was cleared with 363 votes in favor and 96 against in the chamber. However, the possibility of a split in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan remained, with Reuters citing national broadcaster NHK as reporting that 57 lawmakers from the party failed to back the bill. If 54 or more lawmakers from the DPJ leave after this vote, the party will lose its current majority in the lower house.