Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe surprised the country and dissolved the lower house of parliament on November 21, 2014, calling a snap general election for December 14. In a new Q&A, James Schoff explains Abe’s move and analyzes the issues at stake. Schoff says a strong result for Abe’s party could boost the prime minister’s political capital as he pushes for key reforms, and it might spark realignment among the opposition.