Japanese Prime Minister Noda refuses to be drawn on specific timing for dissolving Diet’s Lower House

JIJI

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Sunday again rejected demands by the opposition camp that he clarify the timing of the Lower House’s dissolution for a snap election.

Speaking to reporters, Noda said that while he has not forgotten the pledge he made in August to dissolve the House of Representatives “soon,” he has no intention of discussing the specific time frame with opposition parties.

During negotiations that month with the leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, the largest opposition groups, Noda promised that the Lower House would be dissolved at an early, but unspecified, date to win their support in enacting the bill to hike the sales tax.

On holding fresh talks with new LDP President Shinzo Abe and New Komeito chief Natsuo Yamaguchi, Noda, who was re-elected leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan last month, said he hopes to begin making arrangements to that end after DPJ executives meet Thursday with the LDP’s revamped leadership.

Noda made the remarks in the town of Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, after visiting the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.