Facing Defeat, Japan PM Sets Election Date

Aso's fall could mark dawn of 2-party system
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2009 4:20 AM CDT
Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso jogs around the Diet building in Tokyo today.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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(Newser) – Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso has agreed to hold a general election on August 30, following stinging losses for his Liberal Democratic Party in a local Tokyo race yesterday, reports the Financial Times. The LDP has ruled Japan for all but one year since the 1950s, and a heavy defeat for Aso could herald the arrival of a genuine two-party system. Aso, highly unpopular and prone to gaffes, had wanted to begin the election campaign tomorrow but will wait a week to push through legislation related to North Korea.