Japan could hold snap election, says premier

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ANKARA

Japan could hold a snap election this year, the country’s prime minister said.

“Of course, it’s a possibility,” Yoshihide Suga said in an interview on Tuesday night, Kyodo News reported.

However, he asserted that a snap election would “only come about after the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control.”

Japan has reported 487,545 coronavirus cases including 9,249 deaths since the outbreak. The country launched the vaccination campaign early in March.

The four-year term of the current government led by Suga’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) ends in October this year.

His term as leader of the party also ends on Sept. 30.

Suga rose to become prime minister last fall after his predecessor Shinzo Abe stepped down due to health reasons.

Earlier, the LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai had told opposition parties to be ready for elections should they submit the motion of no confidence.

The LDP government is facing criticism for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the country which imposed state of emergency twice to stem the spread of the infection.

Besides, the world’s top games – Tokyo Olympics – were delayed until summer this year due to the rise in infections.

The games will now be played without international audience while a provincial governor said Wednesday he will not allow relay of the Olympic torch on public roads across the western Osaka province amid record high COVID-19 cases.

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