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NAHA, Okinawa Pref. (Kyodo) Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara made a remark Saturday indicating he might seek the country’s helm, amid speculation Prime Minister Naoto Kan could be forced to resign in March.

“I want to make Japan a country where prosperity would be brought on in a sustainable manner by somehow making the current situation better,” he said during a question-and-answer session after his speech in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.

“If that can be realized, I will work hard in any position,” he said in response to a question about his willingness to succeed Kan.

The remark came two days after the former Democratic Party of Japan leader instructed members of his intraparty group to prepare for a dissolution of the House of Representatives and a general election.

There is speculation that Kan may be forced to step down as prime minister if it becomes apparent his government will be unable to get the fiscal 2011 budget and related spending bills passed by the Diet by the April 1 start of the new fiscal year.

“The prime minister’s job is a hard one because . . . people’s criticisms also concentrate there,” Maehara said, adding he intends to consider how to shape the country before making any moves.

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