The Diet kicked off deliberations Friday on the contentious bill to double the 5 percent consumption tax by 2015, and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is urging the opposition camp to help ensure its passage by the end of the Diet session in June.

During the afternoon Lower House plenary session, opposition parties blasted Noda's Democratic Party of Japan for seeking the sales tax hike after promising during the 2009 Lower House poll campaign not to pursue raising the levy during the elected lawmakers' four-year term.

Noda countered that the DPJ did not violate its election platform because the tax hike will not begin until after the current Lower House members' term ends in summer 2013.