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Japan PM says government 'will stall' without debt bill

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda delivers his policy speech at the opening of the extraordinary session of Parliament in Tokyo Monday, Oct. 29, 2012.

Koji Sasahara/AP

The day-to-day functions of Japan's government will seize up unless deadlocked politicians pass a new debt financing bill, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda warned Monday.

"If the current situation continues, bread-and-butter administrative services will stall to the extent that it will have a great impact on people's lives, which in turn could be an obstacle to economic recovery," he told parliament.

Noda, speaking at the start of an extraordinary session of parliament, warned that without agreement from his opponents on a bill to allow the government to issue new bonds to cover its spending, large parts of public life will grind to a halt.

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"No government will be able to finance its workings without a special public-bond bill," he said.

"Already we see limits on carrying out budgeted local government policies."

A bill to expand the amount of money that Japan can borrow has fallen foul of politicking, with the opposition refusing to co-operate until they have extracted a definite promise from Noda on when he will call elections.

"Will we return to a futile factional confrontation which prioritises the fight over political power, or will we take the action that needs to be taken and have a debate focused on policies?" said Noda.

"We have to seek legislation as soon as possible, while having candid discussions among ruling and opposition blocs to seek a solution.

"Let's stop the bad habit of taking the annual bond bill hostage and using it for political leverage."

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