Japan’s new PM dissolves lower house for Oct. 31 national election


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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, forth from left, and other lawmakers give three cheers after dissolving the lower house, the more powerful of the two parliamentary chambers, during an extraordinary Diet session at the lower house of parliament Thursday.

Eugene Hoshiko/AP


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Eugene Hoshiko/AP


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Tadamori Oshima, the speaker of the house, announced the dissolution at a plenary session. The 465 lawmakers in the more powerful lower chamber stood up, shouted «banzai» three times and left. Official campaigning for all 465 newly vacant seats begins Tuesday.

The last lower house election was held in 2017 under Shinzo Abe, a staunch conservative who pulled the long-ruling conservative Liberal Democratic Party further to the right while serving as Japan’s longest-serving prime minister.

In the earlier lower house vote, the LDP and its coalition partner New Komeito together won 310 seats, or two-thirds of the chamber.

Four main opposition parties have agreed to cooperate on some policies, such as addressing gaps between the rich and the poor that they say have widened during Abe’s government and worsened by the pandemic.

Despite weaker public support for the LDP under Suga, opposition parties have struggled to win enough votes to form a new government after the brief rule of the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan in 2009-2012.

Kishida, earlier Friday, visited offices of senior LDP members and expressed his determination of an election victory.

In his first policy speech last week, Kishida promised to strengthen the country’s pandemic response, revive the economy and bolster defenses against threats from China and North Korea. He also sought to gradually expand social and economic activities by using vaccination certificates and more testing.

  • Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
  • parliament
  • Japan

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