Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said Wednesday he will step down as head of his Liberal Democratic Party faction if Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi dissolves the House of Representatives and calls a snap election over government-sponsored postal privatization bills.

“I would resign (as faction head) if (the Lower House) is dissolved because there would no longer be a reason to support Prime Minister Koizumi,” Mori told reporters Wednesday morning in Tokyo.

Koizumi said later that Mori’s comments would not affect his decision over whether to dissolve the Lower House in the event the bills are rejected in a final vote expected Friday in the House of Councilors.

“That way of speaking is a rhetorical style unique to Mr. Mori,” Koizumi told reporters, hinting he did not take Mori’s words too seriously. “I think he wanted to stress that a disaster would ensue if the bills were not enacted.”

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