Naoto Kan is set to be Japan’s next prime minister after he won an overwhelming victory in the Democratic Party of Japan’s presidential election Friday. The selection is tantamount to picking a prime minister, as the party has a majority in the more powerful lower house, which chooses the prime minister. Mr. Kan served as finance minister and deputy prime minister in Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s cabinet.
The vote came soon after Hatoyama and his cabinet stepped down Friday morning prior to the Diet’s vote on a new head of government.
Mr. Hatoyama announced his resignation Wednesday, only eight months after taking office, as calls for him to go grew within the Democratic Party of Japan ahead of an upper house election in July.
His flip-flop in policy on the issue of a US military base on Okinawa helped erode his popularity, analysts said.