Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to the press at his official residence on December 28, 2015, after a telephone conversation with South Korean President Park Geun-Hye. Abe said that a landmark agreement between Japan and South Korea on the issue of wartime sex slaves heralds a "new era" in relations between the two countries.    AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS    JAPAN OUT
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to the press at his official residence on December 28, 2015, after a telephone conversation with South Korean President Park Geun-Hye. Abe said that a landmark agreement between Japan and South Korea on the issue of wartime sex slaves heralds a "new era" in relations between the two countries. AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS JAPAN OUT

Tokyo : Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday dissolved the more powerful lower chamber of Japan’s bicameral parliament to hold general election as soon as it convened for an extraordinary session.

The general election will be held on October 22, with official campaigning set to start on October 10.

This is not the first time that Prime Minister Abe has decided to dissolve the Japanese Diet. He had dissolved the lower house of parliament in November 2014, and thereafter, led the LDP and its junior Komeito coalition ally to a sweeping victory in the election in December.

Recently, his Liberal Democratic Party suffered a devastating loss in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly race in July. Moreover, his cabinet’s popular approval ratings have plunged to its worst levels.

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