Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Sunday he believes that simultaneous elections for both chambers of the Diet are unlikely to be held this summer.
Noting that the decision on whether to dissolve the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, for a snap election fully rests with the prime minister, Suga said on a radio program, “I cannot say with 100 percent conviction that there won’t be (double elections).”
A triennial election for the House of Councilors, the upper chamber, is scheduled to be held this summer. Some speculate that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will dissolve the Lower House to call an election to coincide with the Upper House poll.
On the consumption tax increase from 8 percent to 10 percent that is set for October, Suga said the government made steady preparations in its fiscal 2019 budget in order to deal with the effects of the tax hike.
There is no change in the government’s stance of going ahead with the tax hike unless an unforeseen event occurs on a scale similar to the economic crisis caused by the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008, Suga said.