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(Update 3) Japan Lower House Dissolved; Election Set for Oct. 31

(Update 3) Japan Lower House Dissolved; Election Set for Oct. 31

   Tokyo, Oct. 14 (Jiji Press)--The House of Representatives was dissolved at a plenary meeting of the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, Thursday afternoon for a general election, with both the ruling and opposition parties fully getting into election mode.
   At the beginning of the plenary meeting from 1 p.m. (4 a.m. GMT), Lower House Speaker Tadamori Oshima read out a rescript for the dissolution, which was signed by Emperor Naruhito. The Lower House dissolution was decided at a cabinet meeting earlier in the day.
   At an extraordinary cabinet meeting held after the dissolution, the government formally decided that the Lower House general election will be held Oct. 31, with the official campaign period starting Tuesday. It will be the first parliamentary election taking place nationwide since the start of the novel coronavirus crisis last year.
   "We must now face the judgments of the people," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday morning. "I'm feeling very solemn today," he told reporters at the prime minister's office.
   At a press conference in the evening, Kishida said his Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, will aim to maintain a combined Lower House majority in the election.

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