Japan officially dissolved its parliament on Thursday in preparation for a general election at the end of the month. The elections will be putting Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who held the position for the last 11 days, against candidates from opposing political parties.
The upcoming election will set the stage for an election that will see which party will be chosen by the people to lead the recovery of the country's pandemic-battered economy. The Japanese people will likely want to vote for parliament members with clear plans for decisive action to both end the pandemic and revitalize the economy.
During his short tenure, Kishida has had reasonable public support. Polls show him and his party, the Liberal Democratic Party, as one of the favorites. This will bode well for the party in the coming elections and their bid to maintain a lower house majority.
A poll conducted by Sanke News showed that around 48% of respondents said they want Kishida's administration to focus more on eradicating COVID-19 before working to rebuild the economy.
After parliament was dissolved, Kishida said during a press conference that he intends to use the elections to prove that his administration is capable of achieving its goal of rebuilding the economy. In response to questions regarding his short tenure, Kishida said despite his busy schedule he did not feel tired but instead felt fulfilled.
Part of the LDP's campaign this year is committing to imposing more COVID-19 measures, including the provision of oral antiviral medication to the public before the end of the year. The ruling party also committed to Kishida's vision of establishing a "new capitalism" system that focuses on the redistribution of wealth in Japan.
In response to recent events in Taiwan, the party said it also plans to push for an increase in military and defense spending, which will include the building of systems to counter intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Meanwhile, the Constitutional Democrats, the largest part opposing the LDP, have highlighted civil issues such as legalizing same-sex marriages and allowing couples to have different surnames. LDP has remained conservative on the issue with Kishida previously stating that he was against same-sex marriages in Japan.
So far, the LDP is leading in the polls with about 47% of the public stating that they are planning to vote for them as opposed to the 13% of the public willing to vote for the Constitutional Democrats.