Japanese nationalist Taro Aso won a convincing ruling-party vote to become the country’s next prime minister, Reuters reports. The Liberal Democrat and former foreign minister will become the third PM this year. Facing a troubled economy and strong opposition in Parliament’s upper house, Aso will likely call an early election. “Only when we have won that election will I have fulfilled my destiny,” he said.
The outspoken 68-year-old, known for gaffes, may keep his predecessor in the cabinet and bring in another rival to achieve party unity, but faces an uphill battle. But “it's going to be a weak government” and the likely election will leave “a weak government as a result,” said a US expert, who noted that Japan would become “more inward-looking.”