Olympics Delay, Cancellation Likely to Shake Up Politics in Japan

Politics

Tokyo, March 20 (Jiji Press)--The potential postponement or cancellation of this summer's Tokyo Olympics is expected to deliver a blow to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plans to cement his political legacy.

The quadrennial sporting event is currently set to begin on July 24. A postponement would have a big impact on Abe's strategy for calling a snap general election and instating his successor.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, Abe was widely expected to dissolve the House of Representatives for a snap election after the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The terms of current Lower House members expire on Oct. 21 next year.

Although Abe's tenure as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party lasts until the end of September next year, political watchers also speculated that he may step down by the end of this year to cede power to his favored successor, LDP policy chief Fumio Kishida.

But such plans would fail to materialize in the event of a one-year postponement of the Tokyo Games.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press