Japan's likely next prime minister has begun talks to form a new
government, after his Democratic Party of Japan crushed the ruling
party in parliamentary elections.
Opposition leader Yukio Hatoyama held meetings on possible Cabinet
ministers Monday after his party won 308 of the 480 seats in the
powerful lower house of parliament, which selects the prime minister.
The DPJ already controls the upper house. Its victory Sunday ended 55
years of nearly unbroken rule by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso accepted responsibility for the LDP's
loss and announced Monday that he is resigning as the party's leader.
The LDP will still hold 119 seats in the lower house of parliament.
Mr. Hatoyama and his DPJ have vowed to overhaul Japanese politics to
give less priority to corporations and to help families with assistance
such as child-support payments.
In foreign policy, Mr. Hatoyama is pledging tighter integration with East Asia and more independence from U.S. influence.
A White House statement issued Sunday says Washington is confident the U.S. partnership with Japan "will continue to flourish."
South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young also has expressed Seoul's willingness to work with Mr. Hatoyama.