Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's ruling Liberal Democratic Party retained one of two seats Sunday in closely watched by-elections that could narrow his options for dissolving the Lower House and calling a snap election, especially if rank-and-file LDP members grow skeptical of Kishida's ability to win elections as party leader.

Asked Monday morning about the possibility of a snap election before the year’s end, Kishida simply said he would remain focused on dealing with international and economic concerns such as soaring prices.

“Now is the time to concentrate on issues where discussions cannot be postponed. I’m not thinking about anything else right now,” he told reporters.