The Latest: Japan’s Abe to dissolve parliament’s lower house

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TOKYO – The Latest on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's dissolution of the lower house of parliament (all times local):

6 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced he will dissolve the lower house of parliament and call a snap election for next month.

Abe said at a news conference Monday that he will dissolve the more powerful house in Japan's two-chamber parliament on Thursday when it convenes after a three-month summer recess. The election is to be held Oct. 22.

Support ratings for Abe's government have begun to rebound as attacks on its cronyism scandals have faded during parliament's recess, while opposition parties are regrouping.

Opposition lawmakers say there is no need to hold elections now.

4:30 p.m.

Tokyo's governor is launching a new political party to challenge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling party in national elections that are expected next month.

Yuriko Koike said Monday she is heading the Hope Party and plans to send candidates to vie for some of the 475 seats in the lower house.

Abe is expected to announce later Monday that he plans to dissolve part of Japan's two-chamber parliament on Thursday and call for a snap election to be held Oct. 22.

Koike's regional Tokyoites First no Kai group had a landslide victory in the city assembly election in July, dealing a major blow to Abe's scandal-plagued ruling party.

Support for Abe's party has since rebounded, somewhat helped by his Cabinet reshuffle last month and fading scandals during the parliament's recess.

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