13 Jul 2009

Japan's PM calls election

7:56 pm on 13 July 2009

The Japanese prime minister, Taro Aso, has responded to a crushing electoral defeat in the capital, Tokyo, by calling a general election for 30 August.

Mr Aso's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has ruled almost continuously for more than half a century, lost control of the Tokyo assembly in local body elections on Sunday. The opposition Democratic Party won 54 seats to 38 for LDP.

Mr Aso has approval ratings of around 20% and has been facing open rebellion from within his own party.