Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday dissolved the lower house of parliament and announced snap election for October as expected. Speaker of the House Tadamori Oshima read out a statement of dissolution ordered by the Japanese Prime Minister. The election for the 475-seat lower house, the more powerful of Japan’s two-chamber parliament, is expected on Oct. 22. The dissolution of the more powerful of Japan’s two-chamber parliament comes more than a year before required by law.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who returned to power in 2012, is hoping that a surge in his voter support in recent months will help his Liberal Democratic Party-led (LDP) coalition maintain a simple majority. Currently, it holds a two-thirds “super” majority. Numerous lawmakers, however, boycotted the session when the lower house was dissolved. They protested saying his move could create a political vacuum at a time of heightened tension with North Korea.
In a statement, Abe told a group of lawmakers, “This will be a tough battle, but it’s all about how we will protect Japan, and the lives and peaceful existence of the Japanese people.”
Meanwhile, Shinzo Abe told AP that he will seek a public mandate on his tougher defence policies to deal with rising threats from Pyongyang. He also urged his fellow members to understand his North Korea policies, adding that his responsibility is safety and peace for the people of Japan.