Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s call for snap elections, implausibly pitched as a referendum on “Abenomics,” is a waste of time and money, and a stunning 63 percent of the public remains unconvinced there is any good reason to hold it.

What is the point of this gambit other than to divert attention from Abe’s accumulating failures and unpopular policies? With the economy back in recession and structural reforms continuously postponed, frittering away ¥60 billion on meaningless elections is a distraction from the urgent business at hand. With a monster majority in the Diet, the public wonders why Abe doesn’t just get on with it.

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