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The government might draft legislation next year to give permanent foreign residents the right to vote in local-level elections, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Thursday.

“We are not yet in a situation where a bill has been prepared, and therefore it would be fairly difficult in the next Diet session,” Hatoyama told reporters Thursday, referring to the extraordinary session slated to open Monday. But submitting such a bill could be “an issue in the near future,” he said.

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