Japan PM Abe announces $17.8 billion economic stimulus package

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike holds the name of her Hope Party during a press conference at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office in Tokyo Monday Sept. 25 2017. Koike is launching a new political party to challenge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling part

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has chose to call snap elections in the country, as he informed his coalition partner on Monday that he will dissolve the lower house of the parliament on September 20, reports state.

While speaking at a press conference on Monday, Abe said that he is aiming to get support from the people for his hard line against North Korea's nuclear programmes also.

Abe hopes to capitalise on a weak and fractured opposition to sweep back into power, as polls show him regaining ground after a series of scandals.

Alongside the announcements are reports that Abe may be planning a snap general election. He said Monday that he will dissolve parliament on Thursday.

The prime minister said that the new initiative would be funded by revenue generated by a consumption tax hike that has been delayed until 2019.

At the beginning, Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to discuss pressing challenges facing both the Asian and African regions.

Because of the election, Finance Minister Taro Aso will likely forego the meeting of G20 finance ministers in Washington next month.


Some critics say that Abe has risked creating a political vacuum at a time when geo-political tensions over North Korea are rising.

Ruling Liberal Democratic Party senior official Koichi Hagiuda responded to concerns about the election's timing.

The ruling coalition now controls 68 percent of seats in the 475-member Lower House, including 288 for the LDP and 35 for its coalition partner Komeito, according to the parliamentary web site.

The prime minister also announced a $ 17.8bn stimulus package on education and social spending.

But in the face of North Korea's continued threatening behavior, the Japanese public has increasingly coalesced in favor of the conservative prime minister's strong defensive posture.

Yuriko Koike said she is heading the Hope Party and plans to send candidates to vie for some of the 475 seats in the lower house.

Nor were most respondents happy with being asked to choose a new government, with only 23.7% supporting Abe's decision to call an election.

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