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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 September 2007, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Japan PM may quit over Afghan row
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Sydney on 9 September 2007
Shinzo Abe has been beleaguered since the July poll
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he may resign if he fails to win parliamentary approval to extend the country's mission in Afghanistan.

Mr Abe said he would do the utmost to keep his promise to the US on the mission, but had "no intention of staying" as PM if MPs blocked the move.

He was speaking in Sydney, at a summit of Asia Pacific leaders (Apec).

The opposition controls the upper house and can stall talks on the mission beyond its expiry date on 1 November.

The mission involves Japanese vessels in the Indian Ocean providing refuelling and other logistical support to US military planes.

Mr Abe has been facing calls to resign ever since his Liberal Democratic Party suffered a crushing defeat in July's upper house election.

The result was partly blamed on a series of scandals that had engulfed several of his ministers.

More than 50% of the Japanese public are opposed to extending the Afghan mission, according to a recent poll.





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