• Staff report


Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Thursday the government would complete an outline of postal service privatization bills by next week, increasing tensions in his Liberal Democratic Party.

LDP heavyweight Mikio Aoki and former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori urged Koizumi during separate meetings on Thursday to withdraw the Tuesday deadline for the outline. The prime minister refused.

Later in the day, Koizumi said he did not rejected the possibility the government could submit the bills without his party’s consent.

“It depends on how the party will cooperate” with the government, Koizumi said. Talks with the LDP will continue into next week, he said.

Koizumi said the outline must be drawn up quickly so the bills can be submitted by the end of April, which would give sufficient deliberation time before the ordinary Diet session ends June 19.

LDP members are not required to support government-sponsored bills if they are submitted without party approval.

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