Yukio Hatoyama formally elected Japanese prime minister

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Yukio Hatoyama was formally elected the prime minister of Japan on Wednesday, following general elections in August.

The Japanese Parliament convened on Wednesday for a special session to formally elect Hatoyama.

New Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama (May 2009)
Image: Xiao Yu.

The former Prime Minister, Taro Aso, and his cabinet had earlier resigned.

"I .. felt a strong sense of responsibility..."

Yukio Hatoyama

At his first press conference as PM, Hatoyama said: "The moment I was elected prime minister, I trembled deeply when I realised that Japanese history was changing. I also felt a strong sense of responsibility knowing that I must lead the change of this country to one where the people are sovereign."

The change of power brought an end to over five decades of rule by Japan's Liberal Democratic Party.

In last month's polls, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) obtained 308 of 480 seats, giving the party a majority in the lower chamber.