With the Sept. 8 end of the current Diet session nearing, political players in Nagata-cho engaged in a heated tit-for-tat battle Wednesday as the opposition-controlled Upper House passed a censure motion against Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to try to push him into dissolving the Lower House.

But Noda is expected to ignore the nonbinding motion, not dissolve the chamber, and instead focus on getting re-elected president of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan in the Sept. 21 DPJ leadership poll.

With the passage of the censure motion, the opposition parties plan to boycott further Diet deliberations in the Upper House and thereby block all remaining government-sponsored legislation from enactment.