Japan PM Kan says won't call snap election

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 18, 2011 3:58 PM
Japan PM Kan says won't call snap election

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Friday he has no plan to call a snap election to break a deadlock in parliament.

"I'm not thinking at all of dissolving the lower house," Kan told a parliamentary session.

But he added that he will "take action" if he needed to choose among the options available to him under the Constitution, leaving room open to make such a decision in the future.

Kan, whose public support ratings have sunk to 20 percent, faces growing calls including from within his Democratic Party of Japan to resign and break a deadlock in a divided parliament where opposition parties are threatening to block bills to enact a workable budget.

Instead of yielding to such calls, Kan as premier has the option of dissolving the lower house and calling a snap election.

Failure to pass budget-related bills could cause a shutdown of parts of the government within months, similar to what happened in the United States in the 1990s, and increase the chance of more downgrades of Japan's debt rating.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Michael Watson)