Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared snap election on Monday, 25 September, as he is set to dissolve the lower house of the Diet. The premier announced that the lower house would be dissolved on Thursday, 28 September.

News about the announcement emerged a day earlier as he held talks with senior members of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). His decision comes as his ratings have seen uptick in recent polls as he brings forward the election by a year.

Despite the worries over the threats from North Korea and leaving a political vacuum domestically, Abe is expected to be in an advantageous position because of a fragmented opposition.

The hawkish prime minister is likely to put pledges on education, child care and constitutional amendments as part of his political campaign. The polling is likely to take place on 22 October.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes to capitalise on his rising poll ratings REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian