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HomeWorld newsKishida says he will not call early elections before parliament closes

Kishida says he will not call early elections before parliament closes

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday he had no intention of dissolving parliament for early elections during the current parliamentary session that will end on June 23, after his ruling Liberal Democratic Party suffered a series of setbacks.

Asked if he was considering a snap poll, Kishida told reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office that his position was clear.

“As I have always said, I am now focusing on political reforms and other issues that cannot be postponed,” he said. “I don’t think about anything other than achieving results in those areas.”

Kishida’s cabinet is struggling with record low approval ratings as the LDP grapples with a recent political funding scandal within his party.

The prime minister had reportedly been eyeing a scenario in which he would call early elections, with a ruling bloc victory helping him advance in the ruling party’s leadership battle in September. The head of the ruling party simultaneously serves as prime minister.

But recent midterm elections losses have prompted ruling bloc lawmakers to oppose any attempt to call early elections before the session ends.

In one move that could give Kishida a boost, a bill to revise the Political Funds Control Law, introduced by the LDP, was expected to be passed by the Lower House as early as Thursday.

Also on Tuesday, the LDP and Japan’s main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party agreed to hold a question-and-answer session on Wednesday, attended by Kishida, at the House of Commons Special Committee on Political Reforms.

The LDP received support for its bill from coalition partner Komeito and the opposition Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) after presenting the two with an amended version of the bill that incorporated the two parties’ requests on the intended law reform.

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