The results of Sunday’s Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly elections have dealt a severe blow to Prime Minister Taro Aso, leader of the ruling coalition composed of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito.

The ruling coalition’s poor showing briefly sparked talk in the LDP of replacing Mr. Aso with a new leader. But it is unlikely such a step would improve the party’s prospects because it would produce the fourth consecutive LDP leader to take power without a voter mandate. In any case, to thwart his opponents Mr. Aso has decided to dissolve the Lower House next week and to hold snap elections Aug. 30.

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