Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday called a snap election, as fresh opinion polls showed a fledgling conservative party led by popular Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike was gaining momentum ahead of the expected Oct. 22 vote.
Abe, a conservative who returned to power in 2012, is hoping a boost in his voter support in recent months will help his Liberal Democratic Party-led (LDP) coalition maintain a simple majority. It currently holds a two-thirds “super” majority.
Koike’s new Party of Hope — only formally launched on Wednesday — has upended the election outlook after the former LDP member announced she would lead the group herself.
“This will be a tough battle, but it’s all about how we will protect Japan, and the lives and peaceful existence of the Japanese people,” Abe told a group of lawmakers. The cabinet will formally decide the date of the poll later on Thursday.
A number of opposition lawmakers boycotted a session at which the lower house was dissolved to protest Abe’s calling the election and creating a potential political vacuum at a time when tensions are high with North Korea.
Koike, a media-savvy former defense minister often floated as a candidate to become Japan’s first female prime minister…
Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Read the full story at REUTERS.
If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting our Veteran Editorial by becoming a SOFREP subscriber. Click here to join SOFREP now for just $0.50/week.