Japan’s general election to be held Oct. 31: sources – The Foreigners magazine In tokyo
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Japan’s general election to be held Oct. 31: sources

Written by on October 4, 2021

Japan’s incoming Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has decided to hold a general election on Oct. 31, earlier than initially expected, sources familiar with the plan said Monday.

Kishida, set to be sworn in as the new Japanese leader later in the day, will dissolve the House of Representatives on Oct. 14, the final day of an extraordinary Diet session, setting the stage for campaigning to start on Oct. 19, the sources said.

Fumio Kishida, the new leader of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, arrives at the party’s headquarters in Tokyo on Oct. 4, 2021. Kishida is set to form his Cabinet later in the day after he is elected prime minister at the start of an extraordinary session of parliament. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Kishida apparently prefers scheduling the election, which must be held by late November, soon after he launches his new Cabinet in hopes he can secure a mandate to proceed with his priority issues of strengthening the coronavirus response and getting the pandemic-hit economy out of the doldrums.

The election, which comes as the current four-year term of lower house members expires on Oct. 21, will be held with Japan free of a COVID-19 state of emergency for the first time since April as vaccinations have progressed and the infection situation has stabilized.

Kishida is expected to explain the decision at a press conference later in the day.

Arrangements had been under way for Kishida, a former foreign minister, to make his diplomatic debut as prime minister at a summit meeting of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging countries on Oct. 30 and 31 in Rome, Italy, but he will skip the gathering, according to sources familiar with the plan.

Instead, he plans to attend U.N. climate change talks in Glasgow, Scotland, on Nov. 1 and 2 when leaders are scheduled to meet, the sources said.

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