Kishida plans to hold general election on Oct. 31

Kishida Fumio, the head of Japan's main governing Liberal Democratic Party, plans to hold a Lower House election on October 31. He is virtually assured of being elected new prime minister in the Diet on Monday. The LDP-led coalition controls both chambers of the Diet.

Kishida told several senior lawmakers of the coalition parties that he intends to dissolve the lower chamber on Thursday next week -- the last day of the extraordinary Diet session.

The current term of Lower House members is set to expire a week later. Kishida is expected to announce his plan later on Monday afternoon. He is believed to have decided that it is better to carry out the election soon after the launch of his government.

Yamaguchi Natsuo, chief representative of LDP coalition partner Komeito, said the Lower House should be dissolved within several days after the new prime minister makes his policy speech.