Japan's lower house of parliament was dissolved Monday to pave the way for snap elections, following the defeat of postal reform legislation in the upper house.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has told senior members of his Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partners the election will be on September 11.
Analysts say the tactic could result in defeat for the ruling Liberal Democrats who have dominated Japanese postwar politics. The upper house of parliament set the stage for today's political developments by rejecting the prime minister's plan to privatize the postal system.
The reform package was voted down 125-108, with 22 members of Mr. Koizumi's party in the majority. LDP officials say those 22 will not be candidates in next month's election.
The postal reform package would have broken up Japan's huge combined system of mail delivery and financial services. It includes the country's main savings institution, which holds three-trillion dollars personal deposits.