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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during an October news conference in Tokyo. Photo: Toru Hanai/Pool/Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida dissolved the lower house of the country's Parliament on Thursday, clearing the way for elections on Oct. 31, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Kishida is seeking a mandate to govern 10 days after he was elected as prime minister by Japan's Parliament. The country faces the threat of a potential COVID-19 resurgence while trying to revive the world's third-largest economy and working with the U.S. and other allies to address security threats.

The big picture: The 64-year-old former foreign minister of Japan was elected leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) last month, after his predecessor, Yoshihide Suga, stepped down following a year in office.

  • Suga's approval ratings plummeted as Japan's COVID-19 cases surged during the Tokyo Olympics, but Kishida has enjoyed a "reasonable level of public support" since being elected, according to Channel News Asia (CNA).
  • The biggest opposition party is the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, led by Yukio Edano who, unlike Kishida, backs same-sex marriage, per Reuters. However, the CDPJ's recent polling numbers have been low, Reuters notes.

Of note: Kishida revealed the LDP's manifesto on Tuesday, which focuses on addressing the pandemic, rebuilding Japan's middle class and defending the country against the threat of China's "increasingly assertive" government, CNA reports.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Oct 21, 2021 - Health

India crosses 1 billion COVID vaccinations milestone

A health worker inoculates a COVID-19 vaccine dose to a man wearing a face mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beawar, India, in September. Photo: Sumit Saraswat/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Thursday that the country's health workers have now administered more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines doses.

Of note: While this is a significant milestone for the country of 1.4 billion, which has been devastated by the coronavirus, only about 30% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, per AP. Roughly 75% have received at least one dose.

3 hours ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
5 hours ago - Economy & Business

FTX CEO predicts more U.S. crypto flight

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

FTX doesn't look much like a company valued at $25 billion. Its new headquarters, located in a sleepy part of The Bahamas, is so nondescript as to not even have a sign. But it does expect to soon have neighbors.

Driving the news: Founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" to expect "more and more crypto flight from the states" if the U.S. doesn't soon create a regulatory regime for cryptocurrencies.