Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has resigned as chief of the Democratic Party of Japan to take responsibility for the party’s loss in parliamentary elections.

The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party won between 275 and 300 seats in the 480-seat lower house of parliament in Sunday’s election, NHK exit polls projected.

The DPJ was expected to capture less than 100 seats, far below its pre-election strength of 230.

Mr Noda called the results “extremely severe” at a late night news conference, and said that the party lawmakers would hold a meeting as soon as possible to pick a new leader.

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