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INTERVIEW: Suga administration’s fate hinges on next election

Tokyo, Oct. 21 (Jiji Press)–The fate of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s administration will depend on the results of the next general election, Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said in an interview with Jiji Press on Wednesday.


The next House of Representatives election, to be held before the current term for Lower House members expires in a year’s time, will be a “crucially important” poll for the Suga cabinet, Nikai said.


“Whether the Suga cabinet is able to run the government for a long time or is short-lived depends largely on the election’s results,” the LDP heavyweight said.


Suga “must be considering almost every day when to dissolve the Lower House and how to fight the election,” he added.


Nikai said the party will “generously support” Suga after the prime minister takes the big decision to dissolve the Lower House.


He declined to give the number of Lower House seats that would be necessary for the LDP to declare victory in the next general election.


On the LDP’s work to arrange its election candidates for some constituencies, Nikai suggested that the party could not endorse incumbents if it appears difficult for them to maintain their Lower House seats.


Meanwhile, Nikai sounded cautious about meeting calls from some in the party for distributing cash handouts again to help people cope with the impact of the lingering coronavirus epidemic. “The current fiscal situation doesn’t allow such lavish spending,” he said.


On the diplomatic front, Nikai revealed a plan to visit the United States to have talks with key U.S. figures on new ways of Japan-U.S. cooperation.


“We should have talks on an equal footing about what we can do for them and what contribution they will make,” Nikai said.

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