JAPAN MAY HAVE SNAP GENERAL ELECTIONS: DEFENSE CHIEF
Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono said Wednesday that he is expecting a snap general election possibly in October, after a successor to outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is selected next week, Kyodo news service reported on September 10, 2020.
"We expect an early general election, probably sometime in October, or maybe in October," Kono said during an online event with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, adding that Japan will then be "ready" for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which were postponed to next summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Japan is currently in the process of selecting a new leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, after Abe, who doubles as LDP president, abruptly announced in late August his intention to resign due to a chronic illness.
The new LDP president is all but certain to become Japan's prime minister as the party controls the House of Representatives. The winner is entitled to serve the remainder of Abe's term as party leader through September next year. But speculation lingers that the next prime minister may quickly call a lower house election to capitalize on a possible popularity boost that tends to be seen upon a change in leadership. A general election must be held by late October next year, when the current four-year term for lower house lawmakers ends.
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