Snap Election Decision Up to Next Leader: Suga

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, heavily favored to become the next leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said Saturday that whether there will be a snap general election after a new prime minister takes office is "up to the new prime minister."

"As chief cabinet secretary, I often told reporters asking when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will dissolve (the House of Representatives) that 'if the prime minister says he will, it will happen, and if not, it won't,'" Suga said on a television program. "It is the same now."

At the same time, Suga said he will do all he can to address the immediate challenge of the new coronavirus crisis.

The term for the current members of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament, ends next October. Ruling and opposition lawmakers believe that if Suga, 71, becomes LDP president, and subsequently prime minister, he may dissolve the Lower House at an early date to call an election.

The LDP presidential election is slated for Sept. 14 after Abe abruptly announced late last month his decision to step down for health reasons. Suga declared his bid to succeed Abe earlier this week.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press