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Japan dissolves parliament, paving way for Oct. 31 polls Updated: 2021-10-15 05:01:25 KST

The lower house of Japan's parliament was dissolved on Thursday, paving the way for a national election on October 31st.

"I hereby dissolve the lower house according to article seven of the Japanese Constitution."

The last lower House election took place four years ago in 2017 under former PM Shinzo Abe.
Thursday's dissolution of parliament came just ten days after Fumio Kishida was officially appointed Japan's 100th prime minister.
Kishida is pushing for what he calls a "new capitalism," pledging massive fiscal and monetary support to revive the world's third-largest economy.

"Before the end of the year, I will put together a stimulus package worth tens of trillions of yen to create an atmosphere in which a large number of the Japanese people would want to support us."

Kishida's election pledges also include boosting Tokyo's COVID-19 response, such as offering free vaccine booster shots as soon as December.
Experts say it'll be crucial for the new PM to secure a majority for his Liberal Democratic Party to solidify his leadership.

"The question will be how many seats Kishida can secure for the LDP. He will aim for a majority."

But she says the polls will not be a game changer in terms of future Seoul-Tokyo relations.

"The policy chief of the ruling LDP, Sanae Takaichi, has voiced support for policies strongly opposed by Seoul, such as raising defense spending and promoting territorial claims. So it's highly likely that ties between South Korea and Japan will stay the same."

Japanese media reports have suggested that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, led by Kishida, hopes to take advantage of the recent nationwide decline in coronavirus cases to drum up support.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.
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