Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he’ll dissolve parliament’s lower house for a snap election, seeking a mandate to stick to his tough stance toward a volatile North Korea and rebalance the social security system.
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TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Monday he will call a snap election for parliament’s more powerful lower house for next month.
Abe said at a news conference that he will dissolve the chamber on Thursday when it convenes after a three-month summer recess. The election is to be held Oct. 22.
Support ratings for Abe’s government have started to rebound after attacks on him over cronyism scandals faded during parliament’s recess. Also, opposition parties are regrouping and unprepared for an election.
Opposition lawmakers have said there is no need to hold an election now.
Tokyo’s popular governor announced earlier Monday that she is launching a new political party to challenge Abe’s ruling party in the election.
Yuriko Koike said she is heading the Hope Party and plans to send candidates to vie for some of the 475 seats in the lower house.
She said her party will be conservative and push for transparency in government, women’s advancement, elimination of nuclear energy and other reforms. Several parliamentarians, including defectors from the main opposition Democratic Party, have announced their intention to join her party.
“This is going to be a new force formed by members aiming to achieve reforms and conservativism,” Koike said. “We are going to create a Japan where there is hope for everyone that…