Possible Olympic Delay Ignites Speculation over Election in Japan


Tokyo, March 24 (Jiji Press)--Speculation over a general election being called in Japan has grown after the International Olympic Committee decided Sunday to consider the possibility of postponing the 2020 Tokyo Games amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to make a careful decision on whether to dissolve the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of parliament, while assessing when the coronavirus crisis is likely to come to an end and watching economic conditions currently dampened by the global outbreak of the virus, pundits said.

Some people are speculating that Abe will break up the Lower House for a snap election in summer this year at the earliest or autumn.

"The Olympics won't change political schedules," Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said at a press conference on Monday.

But the Abe administration would suffer a major blow if the Tokyo Games are actually postponed as he has been arranging his political timetable putting high priority on the quadrennial event, sources familiar with the situation said.

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Jiji Press