Japan's tax hike set to clear last hurdle; early election pressure
News On Japan via Reuters -- Aug 07
Japan's ruling Democrats agreed with opposition rivals to hold a final vote on their tax hike plan on Wednesday, which if passed would be a victory for embattled Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, but leave him under pressure to agree to an early election in exchange for support for the rest of his political agenda.
Elections are not due until August 2013 and Noda is reluctant to call an early election, with opinion polls forecasting almost certain defeat for the Democrats.
But opposition rivals are unlikely to give Noda any further support without his commitment to an early election, preferably this year, and will now start horse-trading with a government keen to buy some time before facing voters.
Opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Sadakazu Tanigaki told reporters on Monday: "If the bills are enacted, (Noda) needs to go to the people and set things right."
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