Japan opposition head says preparing for early elections -Kyodo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s small opposition party leader Yuichiro Tamaki said on Saturday that he would prepare for a snap general election before the current parliament session ends on June 21, Kyodo newsagency reported.

“We want to accelerate preparations with the possibility that the premier may dissolve the lower house of parliament on June 16,” Tamaki, head of the Democratic Party for the People (DPP), told reporters in the city of Toyama.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who swept to power in Oct 2021, has said all along that he was not thinking of dissolving the lower chamber for a snap election.

Although an election for parliament’s powerful lower house is not due until the autumn of 2025, Kishida is keen to boost his strength in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) ahead of a party leadership race next September, some analysts say.

Kishida may see an early election benefiting him with support rates edging up after he hosted the G7 summit last month.

(This story has been refiled to fix a typo in the word ‘preparing’ in the headline)

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto)