Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi has signaled his party will accept the situation if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decides to pull a rare double Diet election this summer.
“It is the prime minister who has the right to dissolve the House of Representatives” for a snap election in the all-important lower chamber, Yamaguchi said in a radio program recorded March 16.
“If the prime minister makes the decision, Komeito has no choice but to accept it,” he added. Komeito is the partner of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party in the ruling coalition.
“If we are asked about a double election, we will want to hold serious discussions (with Abe and the LDP) on the reason behind it, whether we can win in the polls, and whether we can give the public a convincing explanation,” Yamaguchi said.
He also emphasized the party’s cautious position on holding simultaneous elections.
“We have stated that double elections are undesirable, due to the difficulties the two parties would have cooperating in the polls and the risk of us losing power,” he said.
The triennial election for the House of Councilors, the Diet’s upper chamber, is due this summer and will be crucial to Abe’s lifelong quest to formally amend the Constitution.
But the chances of the Lower House being dissolved this autumn or later, Yamaguchi said, is more than speculation.
“It is natural for Lower House members to think the chamber could be dissolved at any time after half their term is over,” the Komeito chief said. “We need to consider preparing ourselves for such a scenario.”