Ruling party heavyweight Taro Aso won election as Japan's next prime minister in a vote in the lower house of parliament Wednesday.
The ballot ensured Aso's victory, despite an expected vote in the upper house for the opposition.
Aso, 68, chosen as president of the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Monday, had already begun piecing together a Cabinet expected to include a fellow outspoken hawk as finance chief.
The right-leaning former foreign minister will confront a country wracked by political divisions and spiking concerns over the economy, which has stalled in recent months amid the ballooning financial crisis in the United States.
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