Oct. 22 General Election Emerges as Possible Option for Abe (News)
Tokyo, Aug. 10 (Jiji Press)—Speculation is growing that Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō may dissolve the House of Representatives for a snap election on October 22 in a pre-emptive move against a possible realignment of the opposition.
This speculation has been fueled by the apparent move by a Lower House lawmaker close to popular Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko toward forming a new full-fledged political party within the year.
"We can't deny the possibility of an October 22 general election," independent lawmaker Wakasa Masaru said at a press conference on Monday, when he announced the launch of a political group called "Nippon First no Kai" (Japan First group) with a view to joining forces with the Tokyo governor.
Two by-elections, in the prefectures of Aomori and Ehime, for the Lower House are currently set for October 22. A general election on that day "may be possible," a government source said.
While the Abe cabinet approval ratings have recently plunged due to a spate of scandals, there seems to be no opposition party at the moment that broadly appeals to voters critical of the administration.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]