Fukuda to Be Japan's Next Prime Minister

Ruling party picks dovish moderate
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2007 6:40 AM CDT
Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda, center, is applauded by fellow lawmakers after he was elected president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007, in Tokyo. Moderate...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Moderate lawmaker Yasuo Fukuda has beaten out hawkish former foreign minister Taro Aso in a ruling party vote for the leader of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party, paving the way for his appointment as prime minister.  Former PM Shinzo Abe vacated the post following a series of mistakes and scandals. Fukuda, the dovish son of a previous prime minister, won 63% of the vote.

Parliament will meet Tuesday to elect the new prime minister, and Fukuda, 71, is all but certain to win. Fukuda's initial goal will be to "revive the party and win back people's trust," he said. He also hopes to develop closer relationships with China and North Korea while maintaining ties with the US.