01 September 2009

Democratic Party of Japan takes power

Democratic Party leader Yukio Hatoyama (R) speaks to reporters at the party headquarters in Tokyo September 1, 2009. Japan's Democratic Party, fresh from a landslide election victory, met the central bank governor and senior finance ministry bureaucrats on Tuesday as the transition to a new government stepped up a gear.- reuters pictures

August 31, 2009, 08:40

Tokyo: Japan's new leader Yukio Hatoyama rushed on Monday to select Cabinet ministers after his party trounced the ruling conservatives in elections.

Hatoyama said in a victory speech late on Sunday that he would focus on making a quick and smooth transition, and said his priority was choosing the nation's next finance minister.

Official results were still being counted, but exit polls by all major media said Hatoyama's Democratic Party of Japan had won more than 300 of the 480 seats in the lower house of parliament.

That would easily be enough to ensure that he is installed as prime minister in a special session of parliament that is expected to be held in mid-September.

Prime Minister Taro Aso, conceding defeat, said he would step down as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Washington's new ambassador to Japan said the US is looking forward to working with the new administration in Tokyo.

"The challenges we face are many, but through our partnership our two great democracies will meet them in a spirit of cooperation and friendship," Ambassador John V. Roos said in a statement on Monday.- www.gulfnews.com


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