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Japan's Abe will reportedly announce snap elections for next month
26 September 2017, 12:18 | Cedric Leonard
Pic Courtesy PTI
Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has announced he will dissolve the lower house of parliament and call a snap election for next month.
Mr Abe's support has surged as rising tensions with North Korea have overshadowed criticism of alleged cronyism. Though he did not indicate a date, the vote is widely expected to be held on Oct 22. Turning to Asia, he also stated that North Korea's nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches are an unprecedented, grave and imminent threat to worldwide peace and security.
"We must not give in to North Korea's threats".
"But I would suspect a lot of election related stuff is already priced in and the yen would have limited downside", said Kyosuke Suzuki, director of foreign exchange at Societe Generale in Tokyo.
He said his goal was for his coalition to retain a majority in the chamber.
Media surveys at the weekend showed that the LDP was expected to win convincingly, although two-thirds disapprove of a snap poll.
A new poll carried out by Japan's Kyodo news agency has shown that nearly two-thirds of voters are against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calling a snap election.
Given the results seen in other major developed countries, however, some political analysts are not ruling out the unexpected.
"North Korea is attempting to dismiss with a smirk the efforts towards disarmament we have assiduously undertaken over the years", he said.
Abe will seek backing for a ¥2-trillion ($18-billion) economic package, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Monday, without attribution.
He also said he would continue on his path of fiscal reform and would use the revenue from the recently introduced sales tax to balance the budget and reduce debt.
US Vice President Mike Pence, addressing the UN Security Council on Wednesday, said: "If we are forced to defend ourselves and our allies, we will do so with military power that is effective and overwhelming".
He said he believed it was necessary to revise the constitution's pacifist article 9 to clarify the military's status but said the wording of a proposed change was up to his party.
During the press conference, Mr Abe laid out how basic policies on NKorea and ways to boost Abenomics would form part of the Liberal Democratic Party's manifesto.
While the Democratic Party is splintering, Abe faces a challenge from a new party set up by an associate of popular Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, who has a history of local election victories over the premier's party.
"Our ideal is to proceed free of special interests", Koike, a former LDP member, told a news conference.
But he was given a lower house seat in the southern Kanto bloc through proportional representation.
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