[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Aso quits after party defeat
Taro Aso officially resigns leadership of Japan's LDP after historic election loss.
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2009 07:19 GMT
Taro Aso led his Liberal Democratic Party to an historic defeat in Sunday's election [AFP]

Taro Aso, Japan's defeated prime minister, has officially resigned the leadership of his party following its trashing in Sunday's general election.

"I find it quite unfortunate that I've lost quite a few colleagues, and as party head, I feel this responsibility quite heavily," he told a news conference on Monday at the headquarters of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

"For the LDP, I feel that we should have a new party leader election and aim for a new start," he added.

The party picked Taro Aso as its fourth leader in four years, hoping he would turn around its sagging fortunes and preserve its grip on power.

"The most important thing is rejuvenating our party."

Taro Aso,
outgoing Japanese PM

But instead, he led the party which had governed Japan for an almost unbroken five decades, to a historic general election defeat.

"I have no plan to run for re-election," Aso said, adding that "the most important thing is rejuvenating our party."

His successor is expected to be named late next month.

Although voters gave the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) a landslide win, most voters were seen as venting dissatisfaction with the LDP and the political status quo more than they were endorsing the policies of the untested opposition.

The LDP have governed Japan for virtually all of the past 54 years, barring a short break in the early 1990s.

But many voters saw the conservative, pro-business party as out of touch and ineffective in its handling of Japan's worst recession since the Second World War.

Aso himself was also seen as a liability after a series of policy flip-flops and gaffes ravaged his approval ratings, sparking turmoil in the LDP and alienating voters.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
Treatment for autism in the region has progressed, but lack of awareness and support services remains a challenge.
The past isn't far away for a people exiled from Crimea by Russia and the decades it took to get home.
New report highlights plight of domestic helpers in the United Kingdom, with critics comparing it to kefala system.
Kurds say declaring Saddam Hussein's 1988 campaign to be a genocide could help with lawsuits and healing process.
join our mailing list