for the first time as the nation's voters turned their backs on half a
century of single-party government that failed to reverse economic
stagnation and spiraling welfare costs.
The DPJ, led by 62-year-old Yukio Hatoyama, captured at least 306 of
480 lower-house seats, public broadcaster NHK said. Prime Minister
Taro Aso indicated he would resign as head of the Liberal Democratic
Party, which lost almost two-thirds of its lawmakers in a complete
reversal of the last election in 2005.
"This is a bloodless revolution, the first transfer of power from one
party to another in postwar Japan," said Tomoaki Iwai, a political
science professor at Nihon University in Tokyo. "The DPJ now faces the
tough task of delivering on its promises and showing the Japanese
public it can change the system."
Hatoyama, who quit the LDP in 1993, has pledged to revive an economy
emerging from its deepest recession since World War II by boosting
child-care spending, cutting taxes and curtailing the power of
bureaucrats. His grandfather founded the LDP in 1955 and became the
first of that party's 22 prime ministers.
"This election has been all about changing the government," Hatoyama
said in a nationally televised press conference. "Everything starts
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