All national dailies wrote on Saturday morning that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga hinted on Friday at the possibility of Prime Minister Abe dissolving the Lower House to hold a snap election to coincide with the Upper House election in the summer if opposition parties submit a no-confidence motion against his cabinet. According to the papers, when asked by reporters if a no-confidence resolution would be a sufficient reason to dissolve the Lower House, he replied, “Of course it would.” Asahi noted that in the past, when asked about the possibility of a Lower House dissolution or snap election, Suga had always said that such a decision was the prerogative of the prime minister. While speculating that Suga was probably just trying to warn the opposition camp against introducing a no-confidence motion, the papers wrote that the fact that a key cabinet member made such a remark has caused wide political repercussions. According to the dailies, Suga’s comment has triggered talk in political circles about a “double election” still being possible this summer by holding a snap Lower House election in conjunction with the already scheduled Upper House election. Asahi wrote that a double election could be held sometime between June 30 and Aug. 25.
However, Sunday papers wrote that Chairman of the LDP’s Election Strategy Committee Amari apparently tried to downplay the remarks by Suga by saying that although the idea of holding a “double election” is possible in theory, Suga probably believes that there is little possibility of the prime minister dissolving the Lower House.