Tokyo: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday called an early election this year.
In a national address, Abe said he would also dissolve parliament’s lower house on Thursday to “seek the mandate of the people immediately”, said foreign media.
The move comes one year before scheduled elections and amid a stronger showing in opinion polls for Abe who’s seen gains for his response so far to North Korea.
“We must not give in to the threat of North Korea. I hope to gain the confidence of the people in the upcoming election and push forward strong diplomacy,” the Prime Minister, who has held power for five years, said.
The country’s 48th General Election comes after a shaky time for Abe and his government, which was wracked by two corruption scandals linked to the Prime Minister and his wife, and the resignation of Defence Minister Tomomi Inada over an alleged cover-up.