FOCUS: Suga Has 3 Options on When to Break Up Lower House for Election

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 21 (Jiji Press)--With the expiration of the current term for House of Representatives members just a year away, both ruling and opposition parties are eager to know when Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will dissolve the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, for a snap election to strengthen his political power base.

Within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, there were hopes that Suga would break up the Lower House by the end of this year for the general election, on the back of initial approval ratings as high as around 70 pct for his cabinet, launched only last month after his predecessor Shinzo Abe’s abrupt resignation as LDP president and prime minister. Suga is serving out Abe’s remaining term ending September next year.

But such hopes have waned since Suga hammered out the policy of fighting the novel coronavirus while reconstructing the virus-battered Japanese economy at the same time and started a series of his pet initiatives closely linked to people’s daily lives, including cuts in mobile phone rates.

“There would be no Lower House breakup within this year,” a senior LDP member close to Suga said.

People familiar with the situation said Suga now has three options on when to dissolve the chamber: at the outset of an ordinary Diet session in January, between the passage of the government’s fiscal 2021 budget in March and the opening of the Tokyo Olympics in July, or after the closing of the Tokyo Paralympics in September.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press