Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday called for elections a year early and said he will dissolve the Parliament on Thursday, hoping to capitalise on rising support as tensions with neighbour North Korea increases, AFP reported.
This means, voters in the world’s third-largest economy could go to the polls on October 22. Abe is expected to pledge more spending on education and child care, stay tough on North Korea, and revise the constitution, Reuters reported. “We must not give into the threat of North Korea,” CNN quoted Abe as saying. “I hope to gain the confidence of the people in the upcoming election and push forward strong diplomacy.”
Surveys suggest voters approve of nationalist Abe’s firm line on North Korea, which has fired two ballistic missiles over northern Japan in recent weeks. The crisis appears to have given him a boost in opinion polls after a series of scandals, and may help him retain his coalition’s two-thirds majority in the lower house of Parliament.