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 Tytuł: The main opposition Democratic Party is struggling
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would dissolve parliament’s lower house on Thursday for a snap election Homme Nike Air Max 270 Ultramarine Blanche , seeking a mandate to stick to his tough stance toward a volatile North Korea and rebalance the social security system.

Abe, in power for five years, had been expected to call the election for next month to take advantage of improved support and disarray in the opposition camp.

“I’ll demonstrate strong leadership and stand at the forefront to face a national crisis,” Abe told reporters Homme Nike Air Max 270 Hot Punch Noir , mentioning Japan’s fast-ageing population and North Korea.

“This is my responsibility as leader and my mission as prime minister.”

Natsuo Yamaguchi, the head of Abe’s junior coalition partner the Komeito party, said he understood the election would be on Oct. 22.

Abe said he would redirect some revenue from a planned sales tax hike in 2019 to child care and education rather than paying back public debt, although he added he would not abandon fiscal reform. Rebalancing the spending would offset the potential negative effect on consumption from the tax rise AH8050-009 Homme Nike Air Max 270 Photo Bleu Noir , he said.

“We will turn Japan’s social security system into one that responds to all generations by boldly diverting policy resources to resolve the two major concerns - child rearing and (elderly) nursing care – that working generations confront,” he said.

Abe rejected criticism that holding an election would create a political vacuum at a time of rising tension over North Korea’s missile and nuclear arms program. Pyongyang has fired ballistic missiles over Japan twice in the last month and conducted its sixth and biggest nuclear test on Sept. 3

“We must not give in to North Korea’s threats. By gaining a mandate from the people with this election, I will forge ahead with strong diplomacy,” Abe said Homme Nike Air Max 270 Noir Blanche , adding that now was the time to put more pressure on Pyongyang, not open dialogue.

Abe, whose ratings have risen to around 50 percent from around 30 percent in July, is gambling his ruling bloc can keep its lower house majority even if it loses the two-thirds “super majority” needed to achieve his long-held goal of revising the post-war pacifist constitution to clarify the military’s role.

He said his goal was for his coalition to retain a majority in the chamber.


A weekend survey by the Nikkei business daily showed 44 percent of voters planned to vote for Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) versus 8 percent for the main opposition Democratic Party and another 8 percent for a new party launched by popular Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends a news conference to announce snap election at his official residence in Tokyo AQ6239-001 Homme Nike Air Max 270 Camo Heel Noir , Japan, September 25, 2017. REUTERSToru Hanai

The Nikkei poll was more positive for Abe’s prospects than a Kyodo news agency survey that showed his LDP garnering 27.7 percent support, with 42.2 percent undecided.

Abe’s image as a strong leader has bolstered his ratings amid the North Korea crisis and overshadowed opposition criticism of the premier for suspected cronyism scandals that eroded his support earlier this year.

Given the results seen in other major developed countries AH8050-005 Homme Nike Air Max 270 Triple Noir , however, some political analysts are not ruling out the unexpected.

“Abe’s big gamble could yield a big surprise,” veteran independent political analyst Minoru Morita said.

The prime minister had been expected to face a grilling over the cronyism scandals during a session of parliament from Thursday and opposition party officials saw the move as a ploy to avoid difficult questions.

Abe on Monday asked his cabinet to compile a 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) economic package by year-end to focus on child care, education and encouraging corporate investment.

He told public broadcaster NHK that diverting sales tax revenue would make it “impossible” to meet the government’s target of balancing Japan’s budget - excluding debt servicing costs and bond sales - by the year beginning April 2020.

“But we are absolutely not lowering the flag of fiscal consolidation Homme Nike Air Max 270 Flyknit Rouge Pulse ,” he said.

He said he believed it was necessary to revise the constitution’s pacifist article 9 to clarify the military’s status but said the wording of a proposed change was up to his party.

The main opposition Democratic Party is struggling with single-digit ratings and much depends on whether it can cooperate with liberal opposition groups.

On Monday, just hours before Abe’s election announcement, Tokyo Governor Koike said she would lead a new conservative, reform-minded “Party of Hope” to offer voters an alternative to the LDP.

“Our ideal is to proceed free of special interests Homme Nike Air Max 270 Flyknit Casual Work Bleu ,” Koike, a former LDP member, told a news conference.

An LDP internal survey showed seats held by the LDP and its coalition partner Komeito could fall to 280 from the 323 they now hold, the Nikkei reported on Saturday. Reforms adopted last year will cut the number of lower house seats to 465 from 475.

VILNIUS Homme Nike Air Max 270 Flyknit Laser Orange , May 12 (Xinhua) -- Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevicius praised Poland's active participation in NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission and said he sought greater security cooperation with the country, after meeting Friday with Polish National Security Bureau (NSB) chief Pawel Soloch.

"Close cooperation with Poland is important for enhancing Lithuania's security and defense," Linkevicius was quoted as saying in a ministry's statement.

In early May, the Polish Air Force took over the lead in the NATO mission for the seventh time Homme Nike Air Max 270 Flyknit Noir Blanche , showing the country was willing to engage in regional security affairs, Linkevicius said.

The meeting with Soloch also focused on the NATO summit to be held on May 25. The two underlined the importance of strong transatlantic relations.

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