Yomiuri claimed in its lead item that PM Abe has decided not to dissolve the Lower House for a snap election to coincide with the July Upper House race. In view of the steady public support of the LDP administration, the premier reportedly believes the ruling coalition will probably be able to win in the summer election for the upper chamber without holding a double election, which was thought to be advantageous for the ruling bloc as the LDP’s vote-collecting machine would operate in a higher gear. The premier was also afraid that a double election at this juncture would unleash strong criticism that he is being “politically selfish” at a time when many people in Kumamoto are still reeling from the April earthquakes.
In an accompanying story, the daily said Abe has chosen not to hold a double election out of deference to the LDP’s junior partner Komeito and Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga, who both have been consistently negative toward the idea. According to the daily, the prime minister will probably announce the postponement of the planned consumption tax hike after the current Diet session ends on June 1.
However, Mainichi and Tokyo Shimbun said the premier is still exploring the possibility of a double election in view of growing calls for such a scenario within the LDP. Meanwhile, Asahi wrote that some DP Diet members are cautious about its leadership’s inclination to submit a no-confidence motion against the Abe cabinet in cooperation with the JCP and two other small opposition parties out of concern that the move may prompt Abe to dissolve the Lower House for a double election.