Japan’s LDP May Call Snap Election After Leader Chosen: Official

Japan may be ready for a snap election after the ruling party picks a new leader later this month and a new prime minister is appointed, an official for the governing Liberal Democratic Party said.

Shunichi Suzuki, the LDP general affairs chairman, told a BS TV Tokyo program Sunday that the new administration would inherit a high public approval rating from its predecessor. “More than 70% of the people have rated the past seven years and eight months under Abe administration positively,” he said.

The LDP called a leadership election for Sept. 14 after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation last month. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga hasemerged as the most likely successor, with support from party factions representing more than half the votes at stake.

Former foreign minister Fumio Kishida and ex-defense minister Shigeru Ishiba have also announced they will contest the election.

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Suzuki said another opportunity for a snap election could be next year, when the LDP again votes for a leader in the scheduled poll.

“It may depend on the characteristics of the next administration — whether it will be in place for Prime Minister Abe’s remaining term, or if it will be in place for a longer term,” he said.

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