Japan will hold a general election on December 16, a senior governing party official confirmed Wednesday hours after the prime minister offered to dissolve parliament.
Asked by a journalist on state broadcaster NHK if the country would be going to the polls on that Sunday following a
12-day official campaigning period, Democratic Party of Japan deputy party secretary general Jun Azumi nodded.
Azumi's confirmation came after a showdown in parliament between Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and opposition leader Shinzo Abe in which the premier said he would dissolve the house on November 16 if he got pledges on electoral reform.
Abe, a former prime minister and recently re-elected leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said later in the day: "I will fully cooperate in Prime Minister Noda's proposal."
LDP secretary general Shigeru Ishiba told reporters that senior party officials "had decided to cooperate, taking seriously the prime minister's comment", Jiji Press said.
Under Japanese law an election must be held within 40 days of parliament's dissolution, but can be sooner.
The official campaigning period lasts just 12 days.