Nov 14 (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Wednesday he would dissolve the lower house of parliament on Nov. 16 if the opposition agreed to carry out electoral reform.
Noda was speaking in a parliamentary debate with main opposition party leader Shinzo Abe. Abe, head of the Liberal Deomcratic Party, agreed to the demand.
Noda, under opposition pressure to call an election he promised in August would be "soon", looks to be leaning towards holding one as early as next month after pledging support for a controversial U.S.-led free trade pact.
But some in his party would prefer to delay it, with support for his government at its lowest since Noda took office last year.
Japan's upper house has fixed six-year terms, with elections for half its members held every three years. Elections for the more powerful lower house can be called at the premier's discretion.
Many predict the Democratic Party of Japan will lose big in the election. Well, I'm not so sure about the big loss, but that at least will stop Goshi Hosono from becoming the prime minister. Good move, Noda.
Instead, Japan may have a new prime minister who was the prime minister but quit over the ostensible chronic health problem. Yes, that "curry and rice with pork cutlet on top" guy and a Dalai Lama's new friend.