Sept. 2, 2009, midnight
Japan’s opposition Democratic Party (DPJ) will lead that country’s government for the first time since 1994, following landmark lower house elections last weekend. The DPJ gained 195 seats in the House of Representatives, and the Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled the country since 1955 except for an 11-month interlude, lost 177 seats. Yukio HATOYAMA, expected to become Premier, has reached out to other small opposition parties in order to form a coalition. There are no existing rules governing transfers of power, but leaders from both factions have jointly pledged a smooth transition.