Sunday, September 23, 2007

Yasuo Fukuda to be Japan's PM

Tokyo: Moderate Yasuo Fukuda easily won the election as President of Japan's ruling party on Sunday, assuring his selection as the new Prime Minister in a parliamentary vote later this week.

Mr Fukuda won 330 votes to former foreign minister Taro Aso's 197 votes, the party announced, giving Mr Fukuda 63 per cent of the ballots. Mr Fukuda, 71, the son of a prime minister from the 1970s, has vowed to keep his country in the fight against terrorism, improve relations with Asia and address inequalities.

Mr Fukuda vowed after the vote to rebuild the popularity of the LDP, which has plunged under a year of scandals and policy mis steps by outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has been hospitalised since announcing on September 12 that he would resign. "You have chosen me even though I do not have much experience. I am prepared to do my utmost to live up to my responsibilities," a determined-looking, an unsmiling Mr Fukuda said.

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