Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agenies) – Japan's governing Liberal Democratic Party yesterday voted Yasuo Fukuda as the nations’ new president. The appointment also carries the post of prime minister. Immediately following the vote the opposition called for parliament to be dissolved and for early elections.
Fukuda, 71, former government spokesman, is considered a safe pair of hands. Winning 330 of the 527 votes cast he beat out Taro Aso, who many considered as the real candidate to head of government.
The election of a moderate politician according to Asahi Shimbun, displays LDP’s will to regain public confidence following the landslide defeat in last July’s Senate elections.
His predecessor Shinzo Abe, who led the government for less than a year is still in hospital, since the day after his resignation, presented after a series of scandals linked to his government. Fukuda, one time foreign minister, has distanced himself from Abe’s foreign policy: described as a “dove” he has already expressed his desire for “good diplomatic relations with all nations” and above all China.
The opposition welcomed the new Premier by urging him to dissolve government and call early elections. According to Tsuneo Watanabe, of the International Strategic Studies centre the situation is in deadlock: “The government is still a minority in the Senate. Therefore there is no guarantee of stability until the next elections: which according to many will most probably be next year”.