I guess I don't follow Japanese politics enough, because if I had, I would know that things have been a little tense there for a while. The article is pretty clear that there's been some struggles in the government for some time, and that the events of the last few days have brought things to a breaking point. And with the global economic meltdown still melting a bit (pretty much all I know about the global economic meltdown is that there is one....and that it started right AFTER our honeymoon in England began, and AFTER we had changed our money at the airport), I guess it's no surprise that any political party in power in any nation would be facing opposition.
But seriously, can a prime minister dissolve Parliament? The very concept boggles the mind.