Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has dissolved parliament, paving the way for a snap election.
Mr Abe is seeking a new mandate for economic reforms and is delaying an unpopular increase in sales tax.
But opinion polls conducted by local media indicate low support for the PM and that many people do not understand why he has called an election two years ahead of schedule.
Japan will now head to the polls in mid-December.
The dissolution of parliament was announced in the lower house by Speaker Bunmei Ibuki on Friday morning.
Japan’s legislature, known as the National Diet, comprises the upper House of Councillors and the lower House of Representatives.
Mr Abe is expected to hold a news conference later.
On Thursday, he said he would use the election campaign to clarify his government’s growth strategy, reported national broadcaster NHK.
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