Japan's opposition Democratic Party has begun talks on forming a new government, after a landslide victory in Sunday's parliamentary election over the party that had dominated Japanese politics for nearly 50 years.
Japanese media exit polls give the Democrats more than 300 of the 480 seats in the House of Representatives -- the most powerful of Japan's two legislative bodies. T
he party already controls the upper House of Councillors.Official results are expected Monday. Democratic Party leader Yukio Hatoyama will likely become the new prime minister. He would take over from conservative Taro Aso, whose Liberal Democratic Party enjoyed nearly 50 years of unbroken rule. Mr. Aso has conceded defeat.
Pre-election polls showed voters concerned about Japan's economy and aging population.
Mr. Hatomaya has promised sweeping change, with a more family-friendly and less pro-business government. He has also said Japanese foreign policy will shift away from U.S. influence. Mr. Hatoyama said the vote clearly reflects a deep public desire to shift Japan's balance of power.