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Abe says he won’t think about election before passing budget

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday that he will not think about calling a snap general election at least until the passage of the government’s annual budget.

Speaking in a television program, Abe said he “will focus on enacting the fiscal 2017 budget at an early date.” Dissolving the House of Representatives for a snap election “will not emerge in my mind during the effort,” he said.

Abe said he is preoccupied with addressing current issues and will remain so for the time being. His comments were recorded on Friday.

The prime minister urged South Korea to steadily implement a December 2015 agreement to resolve a dispute over so-called Korean comfort women.

Japan has already provided ¥1 billion in aid under the agreement and South Korea should follow by demonstrating its sincerity, Abe said.

“Implementing the agreement even if the government changes will help maintain the country’s credibility,” Abe said, referring to the possible resignation of South Korean President Park Geun-hye amid a corruption scandal.

Tokyo unveiled retaliatory measures, including a temporary recall of its ambassador to South Korea, on Friday after a statue of a girl symbolizing the comfort women was installed in front of the Japanese Consulate General in Busan, southern South Korea.

Abe said Japan will withdraw Self-Defense Forces troops deployed to South Sudan on a U.N. peacekeeping mission if the situation does not allow safe operations.

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