Japan's Shinzo Abe calls for snap elections in country, informs coalition partner

Namrata Tripathi

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to call snap elections in the country, as he informed his coalition partner on Monday that he will dissolve the lower house of the parliament on September 20.

The head of the Koimeito party, Natso Yamaguchi, informed about his conversation with the Japanese PM after the duo met in Tokyo. Abe held a press conference at 6 pm in Tokyo to announce the snap general election, according to Bloomberg reports.

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According to officials with the knowledge of Abe's ruling coalition's plan, the general elections will be set for October 22. 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Abe has served as Japan's prime minister for nearly six years. If he is re-elected as party leader next year, he could end up serving till 2021, making him the longest-serving prime minister in Japan's political history.

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Recent escalating tensions with North Korea have reportedly resulted in a surge in the Japanese Prime Minister's rating after a series of scandals. The increase in Abe's ratings may help him retain his coalition's two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, ahead of Abe's decision, reportedly announced that she would move to formulate a new national party called "Party of Hope" to challenge the Japanese PM. Koike, who is a former member of Abe's  Liberal Democratic Party, said that she would lead candidates across the nation. 

A latest poll stated that Abe's LDP party received a total of 44 percent of support in comparison to 8 percent support for the main opposition Democratic Party and Koike's group. The poll was published in the Nikkei newspaper on Monday.

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