Japanese PM Abe calls snap election amid rising North Korean tensions

Japan PM Shinzo Abe says time for North Korea dialogue is over

Japan PM Shinzo Abe says time for North Korea dialogue is over

The 475-seat House of Representatives will be dissolved Thursday, Abe announced, and campaigns to refill them will start October 10 - and elections are reportedly set for October 22.

As Mr Abe addressed reporters, more than 100 protesters gathered outside the Prime Minister's Office to demand his resignation.

But he swiftly reshuffled his cabinet and polls showed voters approved of his hawkish reaction to North Korean missiles, giving him a bump in the ratings and apparently tempting him into the gamble of a snap election. He also spoke about the need to keep up pressure on North Korea after Kim Jong Un's regime fired two missiles over Japan in recent weeks.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering introducing new tax breaks aimed at encouraging companies to boost wages and accelerate capital expenditure to spur economic growth, government and ruling party sources told Reuters on Friday. While she won't be running personally, Koike is the face of the Kibou no To Party, which loosely translates as Party of Hope. The prime minister had been expected to face a grilling over the cronyism scandals during Thursday's session, and opposition party officials saw the move as play to avoid hard questions.

Koike has been portrayed in some quarters as a long overdue disruptive force in Japanese politics, but Newsham doubts this.

The political decision on the next consumption tax hike must be made in November or December next year. "She would agree with Abe on around 90 per cent of policy positions", he says.

World's 'heaviest woman' Eman Ahmed dies in Abu Dhabi
Eventually, a doctor in Mumbai took on her case, for free, and managed to fly her in a modified plane that could take her weight. She weighed 504kg when she was admitted to the hospital, but had apparently lost over 250kg after extensive surgery.

The ruling coalition now controls 68 per cent of seats in the 475-member lower house, including 288 for the LDP and 35 for its coalition partner Komeito, according to the parliamentary website.

A weekend survey by the Nikkei business daily survey found 44% of voters planned to vote for Mr Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) versus 8% for the main opposition Democratic Party and another 8% for a new party launched by popular Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. His three-year term as party leader ends next September, and he will have to fend off any challengers from within the LDP to remain prime minister.

A poll by the Kyodo news agency found that nearly two-thirds of Japanese voters are opposed to Abe holding a snap election, and that 42 percent of the electorate is undecided about whom to support.

He has promised to raise the consumption tax to 10 percent in 2019 from the current 8 percent, and previously had said nearly all the revenue would be used to achieve a budget surplus the following year.

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