Japan's premier Yoshihiko Noda said he is ready to dissolve parliament by Friday if the nation's main opposition party agrees to key electoral reforms.
Mr Noda made the pledge during a heated parliamentary exchange with Liberal Democratic Party chief Shinzo Abe.
The LDP has been pushing Mr Noda to make good on a promise to call elections soon, but he has said politicians must first carry out reforms needed to make the election constitutional.
The reforms would include shrinking the size of the lower house of parliament.
Mr Noda said the legislature would also have to approve an urgently needed deficit financing bill.