Japan’s new PM calls 31 Oct election, vows to fight pandemic

Japans New Prime Minister Fumio Kishida [photo: The Indian Express]

Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says he will call a parliamentary election for October 31and promised to boost the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The former foreign minister earlier unveiled a cabinet line-up dominated by allies of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. His decision to call an election came as a surprise even as it is mandatory that one takes place by November 28 since the term of the parliament was due to expire on October 21 this year.

He says he will consider coronavirus relief payouts, adding that he had also instructed ministers overseeing the pandemic response, to come up with policies on vaccination.

While Kishida may enjoy a honeymoon period usually afforded new governments, analysts said he probably didn’t want to lose time, given risks posed by the pandemic.

His decision to call an election came as a surprise to most analysts who had expected the election to be held in November. Parliament will now be dissolved on October 14 this year.

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