Officials from the opposing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) have commented that in a recent telephone conversation, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda stated he plans to dissolve the Lower House in October in order to hold general elections. This would be in order to fulfill his commitment to the LDP in exchange for their support and agreement on passing the bill to increase Japan’s sales taxes.
If true, that would mean the snap election would most likely be called shortly after the race for party president is held on September 21st. Seeing as how it is expected that Noda’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) will take a big hit in a general election, the newly elected party president would have to step down after only a month in their position.
Noda’s tax bill was approved by the Upper House on Friday, but earlier in the week the LDP threatened to pull their support if the prime minister didn’t make a solid pledge to hold the elections. In an 11th hour meeting on Wednesday, Noda said he would do so “sometime soon,” and the LDP said they would vote in approval. In the phone call with the LDP leaders, Noda supposedly said that he would make sure he was re-elected to party president, in order to take responsibly for the party’s defeat in the elections by then resigning.