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Japan prime minister: Measures against coronavirus are top priority now

Now is not the time to dissolve the House of Representatives and hold a general election, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a recent interview with the monthly magazine Chuokoron.


“If there is a need to seek the judgment of the people, I must resolutely dissolve the House, but right now I’m giving top priority to measures to combat the novel coronavirus,” Abe said during the interview. His remarks were to be carried in Chuokoron’s September issue coming out Friday Aug 7.


Regarding the decline in his Cabinet’s support rating, Abe said the primary cause was “the people’s anxiety about the coronavirus, together with the severe economic situation.” He expressed his commitment to make every effort to maintain employment and bring about an economic recovery.


He also emphasized his strong desire to amend the Constitution.


Putting off the Tokyo Games an additional year from the already one-year delay would be “impossible,” Abe said, pointing out that the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games are scheduled to take place in 2024.


Regarding changes in the leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party, which are expected to take place this autumn, Abe praised party Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai as possessing “masterful political skills as a result of his rich experience.”


He encouraged would-be successors as prime minister, saying, “The public is also observing the passion of those who want to serve as the next prime minister.” Abe spoke from his own experience of strongly desiring to make a comeback as the nation’s leader.

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