Analysts described Noda as the preferred candidate among investors given his preference for higher taxes over more borrowing.
Noda elected new DPJ president
Japan’s main governing party, the Democratic Party, has elected Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda as its new leader.
He is almost certain to become the next prime minister.
The Democratic Party held a leadership election on Monday with 5 candidates running for the top post.
None of them won a majority in the first round. Economy minister Banri Kaieda and Noda advanced to a runoff.
Of the 395 votes from lawmakers, Noda secured 215 while Kaieda garnered 177.
Following his victory, Noda said he will bear the responsibility of leading the party, and he asked the lawmakers for support.
He also said he feels bonds with the other candidates and wants to leave their election fight behind.
He added that he is deeply attached to his party and expressed his resolve to unite its members.
Noda will succeed Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who has expressed his intention to step down as the leader of the party and the head of the government.
The cabinet is expected to resign en masse in the next couple of days and the Diet will elect a new prime minister.
Noda, who is also the Finance Minister, held a news conference on Monday shortly after he won the Party leadership election.
He said he wants to speed up reconstruction efforts in areas hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
He added that he will listen to various opinions and wants to visit disaster-hit areas soon.
On a possible tax increase to finance reconstruction projects, Noda said he wants to wait for the government tax panel to present multiple options to the new party leadership.
He ruled out the possibility of calling a snap general election. He said Japan cannot afford a political Vacuum and people should work together to help reconstruct northeastern Japan.
Monday, August 29, 2011 17:16 +0900 (JST)
Yoshihiko Noda is 54 years old.
He is a 5th term Lower House member of the governing Democratic Party. He was first elected to the Diet in 1993 as a member of the now defunct Japan New Party.
Noda ran for the Democratic Party President in 2002, but was defeated by Seiji Maehara.
Noda was appointed as senior vice finance minister under the cabinet of Yukio Hatoyama, and has served as finance minister in the Kan administration.
Noda initially intended to become the leader of the DPJ by securing support from the current party executives.
But after Maehara also ran for the race, Noda pledged to overcome differences among party members and establish unity.
Monday, August 29, 2011 16:24 +0900 (JST)