Trounced, Japan's Ruling Party to Quit

Left-wing Democratic Party ousts Liberal Democrats
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 30, 2009 8:34 AM CDT
A smiling Yukio Hatoyama, who leads the Democratic Party of Japan, places a red rosette on the name of a winner inside party headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, today.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
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(Newser) – A top official in Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party has announced that he and other officials plan to step down after the party's apparent crushing defeat in today's parliamentary elections. LDP Secretary-General Hiroyuki Hosoda said that he and two other top officials plan to submit their resignations to Prime Minister Taro Aso, who serves as president of the party.  

The left-of-center Democratic Party of Japan was set to win 300 or more of the 480 seats in the lower house of parliament, ousting the Liberal Democrats, who have governed Japan for all but 11 months since 1955, according to exit polls by Japanese TV networks. The loss by the Liberal Democrats would open the way for the Democratic Party to replace Aso and establish a new Cabinet, possibly within the next few weeks.