Japan PM Shinzo Abe calls snap election, to dissolve parliament Thursday

26 September, 2017, 00:32 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo Monday Sept. 25 2017. Prime Minister Abe announced Monday he will call a snap election for parliament's more powerful lower house

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

Abe has called the election to force a "breakthrough amid a national crisis".

The rebound in Mr Abe's ratings has been attributed to the North Korean threat, which Dr Jeffrey Kingston of Temple University Japan describes as a "rally-around-the-flag tendency".

Heightened tensions with North Korea have helped restore voter approval damaged by a series of scandals, and may help Abe retain his coalition's two-thirds majority in the lower house.

Ahead of his snap election call, Abe ordered his Economy Minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, to put together a ¥2 trillion ($17.8 billion) stimulus package that will pump new cash into preschool education and care for the elderly. It said 42.2 percent of the voters still remain undecided about the elections.

"Japan is facing a hard time considering the situation in North Korea".

The Japanese public has been divided over Abe's proposal to allow the military more latitude to counter potential threats from countries like North Korea and China that are increasing their military and nuclear capabilities.

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

Tokyo's popular governor announced earlier on Monday that she is launching a new political party to challenge Abe's ruling party in the election.

"North Korea is attempting to dismiss with a smirk the efforts towards disarmament we have assiduously undertaken over the years", he said.

The dollar met with "heavy profit-taking pressure" around ¥112.50, an official at a major Japanese bank said. A survey last weekend by the Nikkei business daily newspaper indicated that 44 percent of voters meant to vote for Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

This "may seem normal in Japan but from overseas, it is hard to understand", Yora told AFP.

Wage increases and greater capital spending are seen playing a crucial role in promoting Abe's campaign to invest in human resources and enhance innovation on productivity.

At the UN, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven also voiced concern over Mr Trump's bellicose tone and urged dialogue in tandem with sanctions.

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