Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda dissolved the lower house of the Diet (Parliament) on November 16, 2012, for the elections which will be held on December 16, 2012. The latest move is part of a political gamble which is widely expected to strip his centre-left party of power.
Noda said in an evening press conference, “This is an election to decide on the nation’s direction—to go forward or to go backward”. NHK the country’s national broadcaster had interrupted live coverage of a sumo tournament to show the dissolution.
The lower house speaker read out a short declaration prepared by the premier and endorsed by Emperor Akihito. The lawmakers shouted ‘Banzai’ three times which is equivalent to ‘Three Cheers’ in Japan, before bursting into applause. A cabinet meeting was held later which endorsed December 16, 2012 as election day. Noda also said that they are determined to do their best to have the Democratic Party of Japan at the helm of the nation.
After a month-long debate, the prime minister wanted people to come to the right verdict. For months, Noda has been under pressure to call elections and offered to dissolve the main decision-making chamber in a parliamentary debate held earlier this week. It is expected that Noda will face defeat at the upcoming elections.