Japan's Abe tells ruling LDP to dissolve lower house for snap election

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-25 16:51:14|Editor: Zhou Xin
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TOKYO, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a meeting of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Monday that he will dissolve the lower house of parliament when it convenes for an extraordinary session Thursday and call a snap election, government sources said.

The contentious general election, being called despite accusations from the opposition camp that Abe is merely trying to extend his grip on power, while avoiding accusations of cronyism in parliamentary debate, is slated for Oct. 22.

Prior to that, official campaign will begin on Oct. 10, the sources said.

Before making the announcement to his party executives, Abe reportedly told a meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy that he intends to launch a new economic plan allocating 2 trillion yen (17.8 billion U.S. dollars) that focuses on funding free preschool education, among other things.

In the latest installment of his "Abenomics" brand of economic policy, the plans of which are often announced prior to elections in attempt to bolster public support, the Japanese leader said that the new initiative would be funded by revenue generated by a tax hike in 2019.

Abe also said that he would endeavor to better balance Japan's choppy budget book, as rising welfare costs among others, have caused Japan's national debt to continue to balloon, while private consumption remains sluggish owing to lackluster domestic demand and stagnant wages.

The Japanese premier, besides economics, is also widely expected to campaign on a newly-intensified security platform, as regional threats are being consistently hyped-up by the ruling camp here and have led to consistent increases in tax-payer-backed defense spending and budget requests.