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Prime Minister Taro Aso on Monday rebuffed his farm minister’s call to call a snap election, saying he and he alone will decide when to dissolve the House of Representatives.

“We are now making a concerted effort to (implement) near-term economic measures. I will decide when the election will be held,” Aso said when asked to comment on the remark Saturday by Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Shigeru Ishiba.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura meanwhile criticized Ishiba.

“Ministers must realize that the right to dissolve (the Lower House) is the prime minister’s prerogative,” Kawamura said.

Ishiba said on a TV program: “We should seek the judgment of the people soon. It is not good to idle away and wait until” September, when the Lower House members’ terms expire.

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