Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda won the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) presidency today and will replace Naoto Kan as Prime Minister, becoming the ruling party's 3rd leader since it swept to power in the historic 2009 general election.
Noda won 215 votes in the second-round ballot against the Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda, who gained 177 out of the 392 valid lawmakers' votes.
The 54-year-old Noda, a known fiscal hawk, is expected to be confirmed as Japan's 7th prime minister in six years at the Diet on Tuesday after the Kan Cabinet resigns en masse.
"I will stink of mud, and work until I sweat on behalf of the people," Noda said, comparing himeself to a loach, a less attractive fish that scours the mud for food.
He has inherited all the problems ― a divided parliament, a divided party, a strong yen, a northeastern Japan desperate for progress on reconstruction and an early end to the nuclear crisis.
Well, I hope his leadership will be slippery as a loach...