Japan’s election without a cause

Asia Sentinel
Japan’s election without a cause
Mandate needed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to refill quiver, find third arrow

TOKYO, Japan – The Japanese economy has slipped into recession, so Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has dissolved parliament and called for a snap general election scheduled for December 14.

Say what?

It is unusual to say the least for a government to voluntarily call for a general election in the wake of bad economic news. The premier said he will seek a “mandate” to postpone a projected increase in the national sales tax.

Say what, again?

Since when does a parliamentary leader need a voter mandate to postpone a tax rise, when everybody, including the main opposition, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), is also against the tax rise?

Little wonder that Yukio Edano, secretary-general of the democrats, has called this polling exercise “an election without a cause.”

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