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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday justified his decision to call a snap election later this month as a chance to seek a mandate from the public on his policy of maximizing pressure on North Korea ahead of a series of meetings with world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, later this year.

Attending a nationally televised debate with the leaders of several other political parties, Abe sought to drum up public support for his controversial decision last month to dissolve Lower House and call the Oct. 22 snap poll.

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