The ruling and opposition blocs are heading for a showdown in the general election as the opposition bloc in the Upper House on Tuesday passed a censure motion against Prime Minister Aso Taro and started boycotting all Diet proceedings. Separately, in the Lower House, the ruling bloc earlier in the day had voted down the opposition bloc’s no-confidence motion against the Aso Cabinet.

On Monday, Mr. Aso had announced he will dissolve the Lower House next week and hold a snap election Aug. 30. The runup to the election will allow each group time to overcome its weakness and devise appealing and persuasive election promises.

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