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Abe eyeing December election

Abe has yet to publicly make any announcements on dissolving the Diet.

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told his party deputies that he is considering dissolving the lower house for a snap election before the year-end to gauge public opinion on a planned consumption tax hike.

     Abe is scheduled to meet with the leader of coalition partner Komeito, Natsuo Yamaguchi, when he returns from his tour abroad on Nov. 17. Some members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party say the prime minister will dissolve parliament as early as next week, after meeting with Yamaguchi.

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