Bad news for Koizumi…will he dissolve the lower house as he threatened?

Man, it was a pretty close vote, too.

Update 2:04 pm:yup. Koizumi is a man with balls.

“I see the rejection of the postal privatization bills as a rejection of the Koizumi Cabinet and the Koizumi reforms,” the prime minister told a news conference.

“I want to ask the Japanese people whether they say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to my reform agenda,” he said.

Koizumi said he would resign if his Liberal Democratic Party fails to win a majority with coalition partner the New Komeito Party.

Kyodo and NHK reported 22 members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party joined with the opposition to vote against the bills. Another eight LDP members either abstained or were absent.

His postal reform bills were voted down, 125 to 108, Monday afternoon in the upper House of Councilors. They had narrowly passed the lower house last month.

The LDP leadership had said that lawmakers voting against the bill would not be allowed to run on the LDP ticket, according to the Kyodo news agency.