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Abe may opt for snap poll ahead of key decision

Prospect of surprise move comes as PM weighs likelihood of delaying second hike in Japan's national sales tax

Tokyo

PRIME Minister Shinzo Abe could dissolve the Lower House of Japan's Parliament within about a week from now and call a snap election to be held before the end of this year, according to comments by political party officials and amid intense speculation in Japanese media on Tuesday.

The prospect of such a surprise move comes as Mr Abe weighs the likelihood of delaying a second hike in Japan's national sales tax - a move some might charge amounts to a "failure of Abenomics" - causing the Japanese leader to seek a fresh endorsement from voters for his policies.

Mr Abe hedged during a press conference in Beijing last night, saying that the issue of an election was "completely undecided". A lower...

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