Abenomics, snap elections in Japan

Sep 26, 2017, 00:33
Abenomics, snap elections in Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun/The Japan NewsPrime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday announced he will dissolve the House of Representatives at the beginning of the extraordinary Diet session to be convened Thursday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses the U.N. General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in NY on Wednesday.

Mr Abe said: "I expect opposition criticism is going to focus on (the scandals), and it's going to be a very hard election".

Premier Abe did not set a date for the vote but Japanese media suggest it will be on 22 October.

The Nikkei poll was far more positive for Abe's prospects that a Kyodo news agency survey that showed his LDP garnering 27.7% support, with 42.2% undecided.

North Korea has launched two missiles over Japan in recent weeks, in addition to test-firing an intercontinental ballistic missile and detonating a massive nuclear bomb.

Despite a recent run of growth, the election victor will also have to contend with a sluggish economy, as the heavily indebted country grapples with a low birth rate and a shrinking labour force.

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In his speech before the UN, Abe said more than a decade of talks with North Korea had yielded only the realization the country never intends to give up its weapons programs. If he is re-elected as party leader next year, he could end up serving till 2021, making him the longest-serving prime minister in Japan's political history.

Koike announced on Monday that she would lead candidates across the country under the "Party of Hope".

Alongside the announcements are reports that Abe may be planning a snap general election.

While the opposition in Japan now seems divided and weak, Abe's critics say he runs the risk of alienating voters by playing politics at time when the country faces a serious security threat.

The main opposition Democratic Party has been suffering in the polls, with only eight percent of voters planning to vote for them.

A Kyodo News poll published Sunday had some good news for the Prime Minister, with almost 30% saying they would vote for his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), versus 8% for the main opposition Democratic Party. At present, the ruling LDP-Komeito coalition holds two thirds of the lower house, 316 seats.

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