TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida dissolved the lower house of parliament Thursday, paving the way for Oct. 31 national elections.

Kishida says he is seeking the public’s mandate for his policies after being elected by parliament as prime minister only 10 days ago to replace Yoshihide Suga.

Tadamori Oshima, the speaker of the house, announced the dissolution of the more powerful of the two parliamentary chambers at a plenary session.

The last lower house election was held in 2017 under former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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