In the face of Japan’s slide into recession, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called Tuesday for snap elections and said he would delay a sales tax hike until 2017. The world’s third largest economy slipped into recession due to an April tax increase. The prime minister said that while the sales tax increase was important to help Japan pay off its debt, the current economy was too fragile to risk an additional hike. The election comes as the prime minister and his policies—dubbed “Abenomics”—are facing increasing criticism and scrutiny. He decided to hold elections now because his Liberal Democrats party has an established majority and “opposition parties are weak and in disarray,” writes the AP. Abe said he would dissolve parliament Friday and elections would be held in mid-December. Japan has suffered from stagnation and deflation for two decades.