Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party has elected Yasuo Fukuda as its new leader. The 71-year-old politician will succeed outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday, hoping to revive the party's fortunes and fill a political vacuum.
Fukuda easily won election as president of Japan's ruling party on Sunday. This assures his selection as the new prime minister in a parliamentary vote later this week.
Fukuda beat his only rival, LDP secretary general Taro Aso, with 330 votes out of the total 527 from Diet lawmakers and prefectural chapters.
Fukuda has vowed to rebuild the popularity of the LDP. The party has plunged under a year of scandals, an election rout and a leadership crisis.
Fukuda said, "Today's LDP is facing major difficulties. I will work hard to renew the party. By doing so, I will bring back people of Japan trust in our party and revive our party to be the one which can steadily implement policies."
Fukuda has also vowed to keep his country in the fight against terrorism and improve relations with Asia countries. But he will face daunting tasks, including a divided parliament.
The LDP controls the House of Representatives, which has the final say in choosing the prime minister. As the party's president, Fukuda is expected to decide new party executives on Monday. He will also announce a new Cabinet lineup on Tuesday after being formally named prime minister.