The Straits Times
Published on Dec 25, 2012

After election loss, Japan party names new leader


TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's defeated Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) on Tuesday picked as its new leader the industry minister during last year's Fukushima nuclear crisis, after suffering a landslide electoral defeat.

Mr Banri Kaieda, 63, who broke down in tears in parliament last year as he faced heavy criticism over his handling of the accident, notched up 90 of 144 votes from party members, beating Mr Sumio Mabuchi, a 52-year-old former infrastructure and transport minister.

"I will do my best to reconstruct the DPJ. Please give me your support," Mr Kaieda told fellow lawmakers after being chosen as party president.

Tuesday's vote was largely a sideshow in the run-up to the installation on Wednesday of Mr Shinzo Abe as Japan's new premier.