National / Politics

Possible no-confidence motion against Abe Cabinet could trigger snap election, Japan's top government spokesman says

JIJI

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe might call a snap election for the House of Representatives, the powerful lower chamber of the Diet, if opposition parties submit a no-confidence motion against his Cabinet, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has suggested.

Asked whether the submission of a no-confidence motion would be a fair reason for dissolving the Lower House, Suga told a news conference on Friday that it was definitely in the realm of possibility.

“That would certainly be the case,” he said.

It is unusual for the government’s top spokesman to mention the possibility of a Lower House breakup for a snap election, as dissolving the chamber is considered to be an exclusive matter for the prime minister.

The suggestion by Suga came as opposition parties are carefully considering the timing for the possible submission of a no-confidence motion against the Abe Cabinet ahead of the triennial election for the House of Councilors in the summer.

There is lingering speculation that Abe could go for a double election covering both chambers to seek public support for a possible decision to postpone — for a third time — a consumption tax hike to 10 percent from 8 percent, currently planned for October.

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