A parliamentary committee called for a no-confidence vote Friday against Prime Minister Tsutomo Hata, a vote likely to cost him his job unless he can woo a key opposition party back to his side.

However, talks hit a deadlock over the Socialist Party's demand that Hata resign immediately before they would consider saving his 2-month-old coalition government. Hata' top strategist, Ichiro Ozawa, rejected the demand."It is inconceivable for the prime minister and the Cabinet to resign," he told reporters Friday. "Japan is facing too many pressing issues at home and abroad."

Hata faces a no-confidence motion submitted Thursday by Japan's No. 1 opposition party, the Liberal Democrats. Because the Socialists pulled out of the governing coalition shortly after it was formed, Hata does not have a majority in Parliament and so is likely to lose the vote unless he can win the Socialists back.

If Hata loses the vote, tentatively scheduled to be held at a session beginning early Saturday, he must resign or call new elections.

That could sweep the scandal-plagued Liberal Democrats back into power. Their defeat last year ended a generation of stable, one-party rule.

On Thursday, Hata said he was willing to step down in hopes of regaining the post in a new lineup.

That would allow the Socialists to rescue the coalition from the Liberal Democrats without losing face. But it was unclear whether Hata would be prepared to do so under Socialist pressure.

"There has been no progress," top Socialist official Koken Nosaka said Friday after a series of meetings with members of Hata's governing coalition. The two sides are also said to remain divided over whether to raise taxes to pay for rising welfare costs.

The Socialists, who are split on rejoining the coalition, occupy a pivotal role in Japan's increasingly unstable political world.