A tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump has political circles in Japan buzzing with speculation that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may call a snap election in July.

"Great progress being made in our Trade Negotiations with Japan. Agriculture and beef heavily in play. Much will wait until after their July elections where I anticipate big numbers!" Trump tweeted on Sunday after the leaders played golf and ate lunch together.

The reference to "elections" in the plural led some to ask: did Trump get the inside scoop on Abe's plans to dissolve the House of Representatives for a double election along with the House of Councillors?


Abe has remained tight-lipped about the possibility of a double election. After Trump's tweet, a senior member of the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito said, "I'm certain of it now."

Others were skeptical, pointing to the fact that "elections" could be referring to the House of Councillors alone as 124 of the chamber's 245 seats will be up for grabs.

"Given there are multiple constituencies and many people will be elected, I assume (Trump) was referring to the upper house," Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura told a press briefing on Monday.