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Japan PM eyes dissolving lower house Friday under threat of censure


17:22, November 14, 2012

TOKYO, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Wednesday that he could dissolve the House of Representatives on Friday if conditions were met, despite of disagreement from within his ruling Democratic Party of Japan.

The premier said during a debate with Shinzo Abe, President of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), at parliament that "I think I could dissolve the Lower House Friday" if the LDP makes promises on issues including electoral system reform.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura then said at a press conference later that he interpreted Noda's saying as meaning the premier has "been determined" to dissolve the lower house Friday.

Many DPJ lawmakers do not want an early election as recent polls show the DPJ, which in 2009 ended over 50 years of almost continuous rule by the LDP, could lose power in the next election, which may take place as early as mid-December.

Noda's remarks came under the threat of censure, which the LDP and its ally the New Komeito party agreed earlier Wednesday to submit a no-confidence motion to the lower house against Noda's Cabinet if he does not dissolve the lower house by the end of this year, media citing lawmakers as saying.

If the lower house passes a no-confidence motion, the Cabinet has to resign en masse unless the chamber is dissolved within 10 days.

Noda's decision to dissolve the lower house soon came as the government has almost secured passage of key bills with cooperation from the opposition parties, according to Noda's aides.

The prime minister seems to have judged that he has to fulfill a promise he made to major opposition party leaders in August that he would go to the people "sometime soon" in exchange for obtaining their support to secure passage of his signature bill to conduct the tax hike.

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