The ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s new leader Fumio Kishida, who is expected to be appointed prime minister on Monday, plans to dissolve the Lower House on Oct. 14 and a general election is likely to be held Nov. 7, government and ruling party sources said Saturday.
With the plan, campaigning for the general election is expected to start Oct. 26 with voting and ballot counting on Nov. 7, the sources said.
However, campaigning could alternatively start Nov. 2 with voting on Nov. 14 because Kishida intends to attend the Oct. 30-31 summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Rome, according to the sources.
If the official start of campaigning is set for Oct. 26, the period would coincide with the G20 summit.
Kishida will make a decision soon on the dates of the official start of campaigning and the election, they said.
Kishida will form his Cabinet on Monday after an extraordinary session of the Diet to select the next prime minister.
After launching his government, Kishida is expected to spend the following days delivering his first policy speech to the Diet and answering questions from other party leaders.
The LDP and the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan agreed Friday to end the extraordinary session on Oct. 14.
On Friday, party sources said that Kishida plans to appoint senior LDP lawmaker Shunichi Suzuki as finance minister and retain Toshimitsu Motegi as foreign minister.
Kishida is also considering Daishiro Yamagiwa, 53, for economic and fiscal policy minister in his new Cabinet, the sources added. Yamagiwa, who currently serves as acting chairman of the LDP Policy Research Council, has also been floated for minister of economy, trade and industry.
Suzuki, 68, will replace Taro Aso, 81, who has headed the Finance Ministry since December 2012 and oversaw two consumption tax hikes and efforts to rein in Japan’s massive public debt. Aso is married to Suzuki’s older sister, while Suzuki belongs to an intraparty faction headed by Aso.
Posts previously held by Suzuki, whose father was former Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki, include environment minister and minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
Aso will serve as LDP vice president following a reshuffle of party executives on Friday.
Motegi, 65, will keep the position he has held since September 2019.
As head of the Foreign Ministry, he will continue to be responsible for boosting cooperation with the United States and other like-minded countries in the face of challenges including China’s growing economic and military influence, and the recent resumption of ballistic missile launches by North Korea.
Kishida is set to name former education minister Hirokazu Matsuno, 59, as chief Cabinet secretary, replacing Katsunobu Kato.
The role, often called the lynchpin of an administration, includes holding daily news conferences as the government’s top spokesperson and coordinating policy among various ministries and agencies.
Matsuno belongs to a faction headed by former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda, over which former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continues to wield strong influence despite no longer being an official member.
Kishida on Friday named a new lineup of party executives tasked with buoying public support ahead of next month’s general election.
Former Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Akira Amari, 72, will serve as secretary-general, the LDP’s de facto No. 2 post, while former internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi, 60, was named chairwoman of the policy council.
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