• Kyodo


The government and ruling parties are already preparing to get right back to business after Sunday’s House of Representatives election, as media projections show the Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito coalition on course to achieve a solid victory.

The ruling bloc is arranging to convene a special Diet session around Nov. 1 to vote Prime Minister Shinzo Abe back into office, senior coalition members said Wednesday.

Abe is then expected promptly to form a new Cabinet, which will be formally inaugurated with an attestation ceremony at the Imperial Palace the same day.

According to a Kyodo News survey released Tuesday, the coalition of Abe’s LDP and the smaller Komeito will pick up about 310 seats in the election, enough to give it a two-thirds majority in the 465-seat house.

The survey also predicts neither Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike’s Kibo no To (Party of Hope) nor the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan — the respectively conservative and liberal parties that have emerged from the husk of the Democratic Party — will seriously threaten the coalition’s grip on power.

Abe would want to appoint his new Cabinet before U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Japan from Nov. 5.

He dissolved the Lower House on Sept. 28 at the outset of an extraordinary Diet session, without speaking about the cronyism allegations that saw his popularity decline earlier this year.

If Abe is again selected as prime minister, he will face a clash with the opposition about the fall Diet schedule.

Opposition parties are expected to push for him to respond to the allegations in an extraordinary session before the end of the year, while Abe will likely prioritize diplomatic engagements, ostensibly to address heightened tensions over North Korea.

After Trump’s visit, the prime minister is scheduled to travel to Vietnam and the Philippines for regional meetings in mid-November.

The Constitution requires the convocation of a special parliamentary session within 30 days of a general election.

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