TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's top government spokesman said on Monday he would never advise Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to call a snap election, adding it was up to the premier to decide when to go to the ballot box.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also told a news conference said he was not considering an early election if a proposed sales tax hike was delayed and that the government's priority was to beat deflation and boost the economy.
Abe said on Friday he was not thinking of calling a snap election for parliament's lower house, amid some speculation that he might do so by the end of the year.
The Yomiuri newspaper reported over the weekend Abe is considering dissolving the lower house of parliament and calling a snap election if he decides to delay a plan to raise the sales tax next year.
(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Michael Perry)