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Abe plans snap election in Japan amid Korea crisis

Abe plans snap election in Japan amid Korea crisis

Abe plans snap election in Japan amid Korea crisis

Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday that countries need to unite to enforce sanctions and apply pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programs. Though he has not announced a date for elections, reports say polls will be held on October 22.

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"We must not give in to North Korea's threats".

"I want the Japanese people to believe that there is hope for tomorrow", she said at a televised press conference.

Analysts believe his ruling Liberal Democratic Party will retain a majority, but could lose the two-thirds majority it now holds with its coalition partner, the Komei party.

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

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A survey last weekend by the Nikkei business daily newspaper indicated that 44 percent of voters meant to vote for Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Abe called a snap election on Monday as regional tensions remained at fever pitch over North Korea, coupled with Koike's declaration that she would head a new conservative grouping to be called the Hope Party. The same survey by Nikkei business daily showed 44 percent of voters planned to vote for the LDP.

Given the results seen in other major developed countries, however, some political analysts are not ruling out the unexpected.

In his United Nations speech, Abe said North Korean nuclear weapons either already were, or were on the verge of becoming, hydrogen bombs, presenting an unprecedented threat.

The government and the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito party have approved Abe's plan to disband the House of Representatives at the outset of the upcoming parliament session without the prime minister making a policy speech, ruling party sources said.

He said fostering human resources and improving productivity would be two pillars of his Cabinet's policies, adding that the government will compile a policy package worth 2 trillion yen (18 billion US dollars) to boost support for child care and education.

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