TOKYO — The Latest on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s dissolution of the lower house of parliament (all times local):

7:50 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said it will be difficult to achieve the goal of achieving a balanced budget except for interest payments by 2020 as planned.

Abe said at a news conference Monday that part of the revenue from a planned 2019 consumption tax hike would be used for a hefty package for child education and elderly care. He said the projects are direly needed to maintain growth and tackle an aging and declining population.

He has promised to raise the consumption tax to 10 percent in 2019 from the current 8 percent, and previously had said almost all the revenue would be used to achieve a budget surplus the following year.

Abe also announced he will dissolve parliament’s more powerful lower house on Thursday and hold elections next month.


7:40 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he will step down as prime minister if his party fails to win a majority in an upcoming election.

Abe on Monday announced plans to dissolve the more powerful lower house of Japan’s parliament when it convenes Thursday and call a snap election. The election is to be held Oct. 22.

Abe said he aims to win at least 233 seats, or a majority, in the 475-seat lower house and stay in power.

His party and its coalition partner Komei currently have a two-thirds super-majority in the house.

6 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced he will dissolve the lower house of parliament and call a snap election for next month.

Abe said at a news conference Monday that he will dissolve the more powerful house in Japan’s two-chamber parliament on Thursday when it convenes after a three-month summer recess. The election is to be held Oct. 22.

Support ratings for Abe’s government have begun to rebound as attacks on its cronyism scandals have faded during parliament’s recess, while opposition parties are regrouping.

Opposition lawmakers say there is no need to hold elections now.

4:30 p.m.

Tokyo’s governor is launching a new political party to challenge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party in national elections that are expected next month.

Yuriko Koike said Monday she is heading the Hope Party and plans to send candidates to vie for some of the 475 seats in the lower house.

Abe is expected to announce later Monday that he plans to dissolve part of Japan’s two-chamber parliament on Thursday and call for a snap election to be held Oct. 22.

Koike’s regional Tokyoites First no Kai group had a landslide victory in the city assembly election in July, dealing a major blow to Abe’s scandal-plagued ruling party.

Support for Abe’s party has since rebounded, somewhat helped by his Cabinet reshuffle last month and fading scandals during the parliament’s recess.