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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Tuesday that a pending bill to allow permanent foreign residents to vote in local elections will not be put to vote during the current Diet session, which ends in late June.

Koizumi told reporters that deliberations on the bill will continue during the next Diet session.

The prime minister said the issue will be dealt with by a new panel to be formed by the LDP and its two junior allies — New Komeito and the New Conservative Party.

New Komeito Secretary General Tetsuzo Fuyushiba, whose party is the main sponsor of the bill, said the same day that his party has accepted the decision.

Secretaries general of the ruling coalition met with House of Representatives Speaker Tamisuke Watanuki later Tuesday and agreed to carry over the bill to the next Diet session.

Koizumi and LDP Secretary General Taku Yamasaki agreed Monday night not to vote on the bill due to strong objections within the LDP.

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