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Simultaneous Lower, Upper House elections becoming increasingly likely

NHK reported on Monday evening that in light of the Abe cabinet’s stable support ratings, the view is spreading in the ruling and opposition parties that Prime Minister Abe may dissolve the Lower House for a general election to take place along with the Upper House election scheduled for July. Opposition party officials reportedly also reckon that Abe may take this step to exploit the opposition’s lack of preparedness. LDP Secretary General Nikai said the party will give full support to Abe if he decides to go ahead with the idea, while Komeito Secretary General Saito voiced reservations, saying the ruling parties might risk being swept from power. Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan deputy leader Nagatsuma pointed to the business coincident index for March showing an economic downturn and said that a double election may be called in order to put off the consumption tax increase planned for October. Democratic Party for the People leader Tamaki noted that Abe may take advantage of the opposition parties’ failure to expand their support, while Japanese Communist Party General Secretary also said the opposition needs to be ready at all times to face double elections.

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