Shoppers in Tokyo
Media playback is unsupported on your device

Japan faces sales tax dilemma

Japanese policymakers face a dilemma over increasing sales tax in the country, reports Rupert Wingfield Hayes.

Japan has posted weaker-than-expected economic data, underlining the challenges the government faces as it tries to revive the country's economy.

Industrial output and household spending were both weaker than had been expected.

It is a setback for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who needs domestic spending to rise to boost the economy.

There has also been much speculation about the plans to raise sales taxes next year to help pay off government debt.

As the BBC's Tokyo correspondent Rupert Wingfield Hayes explains, it a very tough decision for the government.