PM Taro Aso Concedes Defeat; Yukio Hatoyama Set to Take Reins of Power

With Yukio Hatoyama set to take reins of power in Japan after a landmark win in general elections, Prime Minister Taro Aso has conceded his defeat and said that he would step down as head of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

According to exit polls, Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) overwhelmingly defeated the LPD, which has ruled the country nearly unbroken since 1955.

Media predications give 308, out of a 480 seat lower house, to the DPJ and 119 to the LDP, almost an exact opposite of their previous tally.

Immediately after, the scale of the DPJ’s triumph became clear, Japan’s Nikkei stock market index jumped to an eleven month high in early trading. However, due to rise of the yen, Chinese stocks falls caused an overall fall of 0.3 %.

It should be noted that official results of the elections are yet awaited.

It’s expected that Hatoyama, a wealthy heir to an industrial and political dynasty, is likely to announce a transition team later in the day.

When parliament meets in about two weeks, Hatoyama is expected to be confirmed as prime minister.

His Cabinet is likey to be in place by then, and his party is also in coalition talks with two smaller opposition parties whose support it needs in the upper house.

“It’s taken a long time, but we have at last reached the starting line,” Hatoyama told a news conference at his home in Tokyo on Monday.

“This is by no means the destination. At long last we are able to move politics, to create a new kind of politics that will fulfil the expectations of the people.”

Aso said that he would step down as LDP leader – his successor is expected to be named in September.

“I have no plan to run for re-election,” he said, quoted by the Associated Press. “The most important thing is rejuvenating our party.”

Kotaro Tamura, another LDP lawmaker, said: “We made too many mistakes. Very crucial mistakes… we changed prime minister three times without holding an election.”

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