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Updated: August 31, 2009 11:44 IST

Japan PM steps down as head of ruling party

AP
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Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, bows as he arrives to speak to the media while observing the result of the Parliamentary elections ballot counting at the party headquarters in Tokyo on Sunday.
AP Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, bows as he arrives to speak to the media while observing the result of the Parliamentary elections ballot counting at the party headquarters in Tokyo on Sunday.

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso says he will quit his position as head of the country’s ruling party.

Mr. Aso apologised on Monday for his party’s major losses in national elections. The vote saw the ruling Liberal Democratic Party lose its majority in the powerful lower house of Parliament.

The opposing Democratic Party of Japan claimed a majority of seats, the first time in post-war history that a single opposition party has gained a majority.

The party with a majority of seats in the lower house chooses the Prime Minister.

Yukio Hatoyama, the head of the Democrats, is a near certainty to become Japan’s next Prime Minister and replace Mr. Aso.

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