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Japan's Ruling Party Chooses New Leader

  • VOA News

Japan's former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda is set to become the country's next prime minister after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party overwhelmingly chose him to be its new leader.

Fukuda won 330 of the 527 valid votes in Sunday's party election. His rival - conservative former Foreign Minister Taro Aso - won 197 votes.

Fukuda says he wants to revive the ruling party and win back the public's trust.

The LDP lost control of the upper house of parliament in a recent national election that reflected the public's frustration with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government's corruption scandals. Mr. Abe resigned September 12th, after just less than a year in office.

New LDP leader Fukuda will become Japan's next prime minister, because the party has a majority in the powerful lower house of parliament.

Lawmakers will formally elect the new prime minister Tuesday.

The opposition Democratic Party is calling on Fukuda to call a snap election as soon as possible. The opposition said a government without a mandate from the people will quickly face stalemate.

Mr. Abe apologized to the LDP on Sunday for his abrupt resignation. Mr. Abe said in a statement that he was sorry for creating a political vacuum.
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