Naoto Kan, head of the Democratic Party of Japan, expressed his intention Friday to seek another term as the party’s president in next month’s election.

Kan told a press conference that he decided to run in the presidential race, hoping to lead the party to control of the government next year.

“I want to make the party capable of being a ruling party,” Kan said. “I would like to show clearly that this party is different from the (planned) LDP-Liberal Party coalition government.”

The presidential race kicks off Jan. 9, and the election is scheduled to be held Jan. 18 at a party convention if there is more than one candidate.

However, because nobody is expected to challenge him in the election, it is almost certain Kan will be re-elected as head of the largest opposition party.

The January election will be the first for party leader since the DPJ was reorganized in April, merging the DPJ and three other non-Communist opposition parties — Minseito (Good Governance Party), Shinto Yuai (Amity Party) and the Democratic Reform Party.

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