Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

With Japan In Recession, Prime Minister Calls For Snap Elections

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference Tuesday at his official residence in Tokyo.
Kazuhiro Nogi
AFP/Getty Images
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference Tuesday at his official residence in Tokyo.

Just after his country's economy officially fell back into recession, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced he would dissolve parliament and call for elections two years ahead of schedule.

The BBC reports:

"Mr Abe was elected two years ago with an ambitious plan to revive the economy, but has struggled to do so.

"His popularity has fallen but he is expected to win the election, which will take place in mid-December.

"'I will dissolve the lower house on 21 (November) ,' Mr Abe said.

"Mr Abe's party, the Liberal Democrats, already has a majority in the lower house, but analysts said Mr Abe hoped to consolidate power over an opposition party which is in disarray."

CNBC reports that Abe also announced he was shelving a controversial plan to raise the sales tax. CNBC adds:

"Japan has suffered since the first consumption tax hike from 5 to 8 percent in April. Abe said the rise in the sales tax 'acted as a heavy weight and offset a rise in consumption.' A second consumption tax hike was set for October 2015 which would have seen a 2 percent increase to 10 percent."

Yesterday, the country released growth numbers, showing its economy contracted at a 1.6 percent rate in the third quarter. It had contracted 7.3 percent in the second quarter.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
To make informed decisions, the public must receive unbiased truth.

As Southwestern Pennsylvania’s only independent public radio news and information station, we give voice to provocative ideas that foster a vibrant, informed, diverse and caring community.

WESA is primarily funded by listener contributions. Your financial support comes with no strings attached. It is free from commercial or political influence…that’s what makes WESA a free vital community resource. Your support funds important local journalism by WESA and NPR national reporters.

You give what you can, and you get news you can trust.
Please give now to continue providing fact-based journalism — a monthly gift of just $5 or $10 makes a big difference.