Reports suggest that, today, Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe will announce a snap election for October 22nd .
For months, Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has been dogged by scandals, which dragged his July approval ratings down to the 20% mark; however, the beleaguered PM was politically graced by an increasing threat from North Korea, bumping his approval rating up to 50%.
Abe would likely call an early election in an attempt to bolster public support for the LDP, allowing him achieve his goal of revising Japan’s constitution, which prevents the military from maintaining the capability to wage war. Up until now, public opinion has opposed such a revision, but recent North Korean aggression may have changed that.
Regardless, while likely, the snap election has yet to be confirmed. In July, the LDP suffered a shocking regional assembly defeat in Tokyo to the Tokyo Citizens First party, a grassroots nationalist party. Abe is wary about risking his parliamentary supermajority, which eases amending the constitution, as it could be spoiled by up-and-coming nationalist parties in the lower house.
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Max is Foreign Brief's Chief Executive Officer. A Latin America specialist, Max is an expert in regional political and economic trends, focusing particularly on the Southern Cone.