washingtonpost.com – TOKYO — Faced with a tanking economy and plummeting ratings, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved Japan’s House of Representatives on Tuesday and called a snap election in an attempt to revive his faltering leadership. The well-flagged move was officially explained as a referendum on Abe’s decision to delay a proposed but unpopular increase in the consumption tax. But many analysts said Abe is trying to cut his political losses as his economic strategy flails — with the latest government data showing that Japan has slipped back into recession.

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