Tokyo, Jan. 5 (Jiji Press)–Speculation is spreading among lawmakers of both Japanese ruling and opposition parties that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has blurted out his real intention of dissolving the House of Representatives as late as autumn this year for a snap election.
In his New Year’s press conference Monday, Suga said he plans to break up the Lower House of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, “at some point in autumn,” and soon corrected himself, saying “at some point by autumn.”
A senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who is close to Suga, was upset by this and checked facts hurriedly.
The prime minister was going to say, “by autumn,” the member explained.
In a television program of BS Fuji Inc. on Monday night, Suga noted that he thought he said the Lower House would be broken up someday by around autumn.
However, another senior LDP lawmaker saw Suga saying the truth in the press conference.
“I guess he has no intention of dissolving the all-important Diet chamber for the time being,” the lawmaker added.
“It’s unthinkable to make a fluff (about the breakup timing),” a key member of an LDP faction led by Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai said, offering the view that Suga finds it difficult to break up the Lower House before coronavirus vaccines become widely available.
A midlevel member of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan also said Suga knows he cannot carry out the breakup by autumn.
Meanwhile, a CDP executive downplayed the significance of Suga’s remarks on the matter.
“It’s uncertain whether Suga can serve as prime minister until autumn,” the executive said.
Lower House members’ current four-year term will expire in October.