Japan expected to postpone 2015 tax hike to fight recession, seek renewed mandate from voters

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to delay a tax hike planned for October 2015 and call a snap election as he struggles to fend off Japan's slide back into recession.

Abe hopes to shore up support for his "Abenomics" growth strategy of monetary loosening, public spending and drastic reforms. He will seek a renewed mandate from voters by calling a snap election, analysts say.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has a solid majority and might consolidate its power at a time when opposition parties are weak and in disarray.

The economy fell into recession in the last quarter, contracting 1.6 percent following a 7.3 percent contraction in the previous quarter following the first to two promised hikes in Japan's sales tax.