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7. LDP to prepare for Lower House election

Senior members of Japan's main ruling Liberal Democratic Party have confirmed plans to quickly prepare for a Lower House election.

LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai told party executives in a meeting on Tuesday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering an early dissolution of the chamber.

Nikai reported that when he met Abe on Monday, the prime minister said he will decide on the timing after he returns from the UN General Assembly session in New York.

Abe apparently indicated that the Lower House may be dissolved immediately after the Diet convenes for an extraordinary session on September 28th.

The chairman of the Election Strategy Committee, Ryu Shionoya, said he intends to put a solid structure in place to secure a victory.

Policy Research Council Chairman Fumio Kishida announced plans to quickly draw up a manifesto.

After the meeting, Nikai told reporters that since Abe has expressed his intentions, they must take responsibly to ensure that everyone wins.

Meanwhile, key members of the opposition Democratic Party have confirmed plans to field candidates as soon as possible.

Democratic Party leader Seiji Maehara, Secretary General Atsushi Oshima and election committee chairman Akira Nagatsuma met at the party headquarters in Tokyo on Tuesday.

They agreed to draw up campaign pledges to clarify their opposition to Abe's economic measures.

The acting chairman of the party's Diet affairs committee, Kazunori Yamanoi, told reporters it's ridiculous that Abe is calling an election purely because he feels he can secure a win now.

He said it's irresponsible to dissolve the chamber at a time when the public is deeply concerned over North Korea's missile threats.
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