Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe announced Monday that he will dissolve the parliament’s lower house later this week ahead of a snap election. Abe explained that the crisis with North Korea is worsening and that in order to deal with the challenge from Pyongyang, a new mandate from the people should be secured.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe is apparently trying to take advantage of his relatively high approval ratings by calling a snap election. The election for the parliament’s lower house could be held as early as next month, with some reports claiming that it will be conducted on October 22.

Abe announced his decision on Monday during a press conference, explaining that a new mandate from the Japanese people should be secured due to the growing tensions with North Korea. On two recent occasions, North Korea fired a missile that traveled over Japan. The missile tests sparked outrage throughout the international community.

Abe has taken a hardline approach toward the North Korean aggression. “The international community must send a clear message to North Korea,” stated Abe after the second missile was fired over his country. “North Korea must understand that if it continues down this path, it has no bright future ahead of it.”