Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says doubling the consumption tax is a necessary remedy to address soaring debt and social welfare costs, and while his opponents don't disagree, they're still not going to let him do it.

The Liberal Democratic Party has rejected repeated calls from Noda to negotiate on the proposal tax hike and instead demanded an election, as polls show 60 percent of voters oppose the levy and Noda's popularity plunging. LDP lawmaker Ichita Yamamoto said raising the sales tax will be impossible under Noda's watch.

Failure to reach a compromise threatens to deepen the country's political stagnation and worsen an economy struggling to recover from last year's natural and nuclear disasters. The impasse could also push up bond yields, preventing the government from financing a record debt burden with the world's second-lowest borrowing costs.