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> But in calling the snap election Abe has given rise to a new challenge.
>> Japan's Parliament's now formally dissolved after Prime Minister Shinto Abe called a snap election for October 22nd, a year earlier than planned. Abe is taking advantage of bolstered approval ratings, partly on the back of his handling with the situation with North Korea, a step in the right direction for his leadership after damaging allegations of cronyism earlier in the year.
The Prime Minister is gambling that his ruling Liberal Democratic Party can maintain a simple majority in the Lower House in a bid to achieve his long held goal of revising Japan's post war pacifist constitution.>>
Tokyo's Governor Yuriko Koike formally launched a new conservative party called Hope on Wednesday, and according to one Japanese newspaper showed 18% of voters plan to support it compared to around 30% for Abe's LDP. Koike and opposition lawmakers have criticized the Prime Minister for risking a political vacuum by calling the snap poll at a time of rising regional tensions with North Korea.