AMID intensifying pressure, and numerous uncertainties, Japan's political crisis appeared in sight of resolution last night, but the pursuit of political reform is going right down to the wire, heading for a suspenseful resolution today. At a last-minute ''summit'', Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa and opposition leader Yohei Kono have cobbled together a late-night compromise. But whether the two leaders can sell their agreement to their respective followers remains very much in doubt. The deadline for all the turmoil remains midnight tonight (11 pm Hong Kong time) when the current session of the Diet must end. So unless four political reform bills have been approved by that time, they will lapse. Should this happen, it will leave Mr Hosokawa with three basic options. He could resign as Prime Minister, as he hinted he would do on Thursday. In this case, the seven-party coalition could stay in power and appoint another prime minister. Second, he could dissolve the Lower House for a snap election on the issue of reform, staying on as caretaker prime minister until it was held. The third option would be for him to continue as Prime Minister on the grounds that issues such as the Budget and the revival of the economy must be handled before an election can take place. Before the Prime Minister faces these choices, there is still a chance that the reform bills could pass, even though one way in which this could have been accomplished did not come about. At midnight on Thursday, the special joint committee of both houses, appointed earlier in the week to secure a compromise version of political reform, broke up without reaching any conclusion. The joint committee was composed of 10 coalition members, nine members of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and one communist. When the committee first met, the coalition government members offered to compromise along the lines which the secretary-general of the LDP had himself suggested the previous week. Significantly the LDP members refused this offer, thereby indicating that those in the party opposed to reform were still in charge, and were disinclined to alter their stance. This left Mr Hosokawa with only one remaining line of attack, which he pursued on Thursday evening as he called upon the Japanese people to pressure their MPs with telephone calls and fax messages, and upon LDP leader Yohei Kono to meet him in top-level consultations aimed at securing a last-minute compromise. The hope was that such a Hosokawa-Kono ''summit'' agreement would allow the political reform bills to pass either in the only way left open, through a two-thirds majority vote in the lower House of Representatives today, or through a revival of the previously abandoned joint committee. Late last night, it appeared that Mr Hosokawa's gamble had worked and that Mr Kono had placed holding the LDP together ahead of diehard opposition to all reform. Previously, Mr Kono has felt obliged to side with the old party leaders opposed to reform. Full details of the Hosokawa-Kono pact are not yet available but one indication is that Mr Hosokawa agreed to 300 single-seat constituencies instead of 274, and to 200 MPs elected by proportional representation instead of 226. The electoral combinations replaces the present system of multi-member seats which many Japanese believe encourages corruption. Regarding the critical and controversial issue of corporate donations to individual politicians, which the bills originally banned altogether, the compromise evidently allows these donations to continue albeit more restricted than at present. If Mr Hosokawa has gone too far accomodating the LDP on this issue, he could find himself with plenty of LDP support in Saturday's vote - but at the price of the loss of the Socialists. who are the largest single party in his coalition, and who sought the complete ban on donations.