Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls for snap poll, faces Koike challenge

Sep 29, 2017, 10:06 IST | Agencies

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe officially dissolved parliament on Thursday, effectively kicking off a national election campaign where he faces an unexpected and formidable challenge from the popular governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe officially dissolved parliament on Thursday, effectively kicking off a national election campaign where he faces an unexpected and formidable challenge from the popular governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike.

Shinzo Abe (C) applauds as the lower house of the parliament approved the snap election in Tokyo on Thursday. Pic/AFP
Shinzo Abe (C) applauds as the lower house of the parliament approved the snap election in Tokyo on Thursday. Pic/AFP

Members of the lower house raised their arms and shouted 'Banzai' three times, the Japanese equivalent of 'three cheers' - after the speaker read out a letter from Abe officially dissolving the chamber.

Voters in the world's third-biggest economy are expected to go to the polls on October 22, as Abe seeks a fresh popular mandate for his hardline stance on North Korea and a new tax plan.

"A difficult battle starts today," Abe told reporters, shaking his fist.

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