Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls snap election

(AGI) Tokyo, Nov 21 - The lower house of the Japaneseparliament has been dissolved for a snap election on Dec. 14,which could see Prime Minister Shinzo Abe consolidate his gripon power. Mr Abe announced the postponement of a VAT rise onTuesday, and called on the country to vote on the matter. Thepress, led by Asahi Shimbun, has criticised him over what itcalled the demagogic and populist nature of the move. The VATrise was an unpopular plan and the election is also being seenas an attempt by the conservative leader to gain public

(AGI) Tokyo, Nov 21 - The lower house of the Japaneseparliament has been dissolved for a snap election on Dec. 14,which could see Prime Minister Shinzo Abe consolidate his gripon power. Mr Abe announced the postponement of a VAT rise onTuesday, and called on the country to vote on the matter. Thepress, led by Asahi Shimbun, has criticised him over what itcalled the demagogic and populist nature of the move. The VATrise was an unpopular plan and the election is also being seenas an attempt by the conservative leader to gain public supportfor two deeply divisive policies that are expected to dominatethe political agenda in the first half of next year. These arethe reactivation of nuclear power plants that were shut downafter the Fukushima disaster and Japan's participation inmilitary operations abroad for the first time since the SecondWorld War. .