Japan seen likely to hold general elections in November
Legislators in Japan believe that a general election could be held in November because it was likely the successor of recently resigned Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is likely to dissolve the House of Representatives in early October, local media reported Monday.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner, the New Komeito party, are making behind-the-scenes arrangements for an election around November, the Kyodo News agency reported. The next general election was scheduled for September 2009, reported dpa.
Fukuda's recent resignation has candidates lining up to be chosen his replacement as head of the LDP, and de-facto prime minister, in September 22 party elections.
Top candidates to succeed Fukuda include former foreign minister Taro Aso, 67; Economic Minister Kaoru Yosano, 70; former defence minister Yuriko Koike, 56; and a former LDP policy chief Nobuteru Ishihara, 51.
Internal party campaigning is to start Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Ichiro Ozawa, 66, the president of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, was re-elected unopposed for a third term Monday.
Ozawa has a chance to become Japan's prime minister if he can lead his party to victory in the next elections.