After the haplessness of the Abe era, Japan's governing Liberal Democratic Party has chosen a safe pair of hands to be its new leader, and by extension Japan's next prime minister.
Yasuo Fukuda, 71, was chosen Sunday to lead the party, winning 330 of the 527 votes cast by LDP lawmakers. He easily beat out Taro Aso, a close ally of the previous prime minister Shinzo Abe, who got 197. As leader of the governing party, Fukuda's election as prime minister on Tuesday is a formality.
Fukuda is a veteran politician and fits the mold of a traditional uncharismatic, conservative back-room LDP politician. He was chief cabinet secretary under Abe's predecessor Junichiro Koizumi, and his father, Takeo, was prime minister in the 1970s. He had been expected to run against Abe last time around but stood aside citing his age.
The margin of his victory shows he has the support of the party's biggest factions, and that the old guard is reasserting its control over the party's younger and more nationalist modernizers.