Kishida hints at general election before tax hikes

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida walks into the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on Monday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday he believes that the next election for the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament, will likely be held before the country raises taxes to finance higher defense spending.

Referring to plans to raise taxes at an appropriate time in or after 2024, Kishida said on television that a Lower House election would be held before the start of the tax increases.

This is the first time that Kishida has mentioned the timing of the next Lower House election. The term of current Lower House lawmakers is set to expire in Oct. 2025.

Koichi Hagiuda, policy chief of Kishida’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, has said that a Lower House election should take place once the government decides when to raise taxes.

Kishida also said he is not currently considering reshuffling his cabinet during the year-end and New Year period or around that time. But he added this does not mean that he is not thinking about a reshuffle for months to come.