Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday did not rule out the possibility of a snap election, as speculation hit a fever pitch that he might soon dissolve the Lower House in order to secure a fresh mandate.

“My administration has been dealing with issues that have been delayed until now, both in foreign and domestic policies. Concerning a snap election, I will make a decision in accordance with this fundamental stance and in light of various circumstances,” Kishida told a news conference, referring to the ongoing debate over key pieces of legislation in parliament.

Until Tuesday, Kishida had used similar phrasing, saying he was not considering a snap election at the moment. But his evasive response at Tuesday’s news conference raised the possibility that he may have shifted gears on the issue.