LDP Execs See Lower House Breakup, Election by Year-End Possible

Politics

Tokyo, June 24 (Jiji Press)--Senior members of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party have floated the possibility of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also LDP head, dissolving the House of Representatives and calling a snap general election within this year.

Some speculate that such comments are intended to keep LDP members united at a time when the Abe administration faces strong headwinds over a spate of problems, including its allegedly sloppy response to the novel coronavirus crisis and political issues, such as the recent arrests of former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai and his wife, Anri, in an election campaign scandal.

In reality, however, it is difficult for Abe to dissolve the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, at an early date, as the tough work to rebuild the Japanese economy, which has taken a hard hit from the coronavirus crisis, awaits the administration while factors that would help shore up public confidence in the government are scarce, analysts said.

“The possibility (of the Lower House being dissolved) this autumn or later to coincide with the compilation of new economic measures is not zero,” Akira Amari, chairman of the LDP’s Tax System Research Commission and close ally of Abe, said in an interview with Jiji Press on Thursday last week.

Hiroshi Moriyama, the LDP’s Diet affairs chief, who is usually cautious about what he says, echoed Amari’s view, saying in the city of Kagoshima, southwestern Japan, on Saturday that there could be a general election this year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press