Yukio Hatoyama, deputy secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan, officially declared his candidacy Thursday for the DPJ’s presidential election next month, seriously clouding the prospect of incumbent leader Naoto Kan’s re-election.

“I have decided to run after consulting with fellow members. I’ll raise a flag of new liberalism against the growing conservatism of all (political forces),” Hatoyama said during a press conference in Tokyo where he declared his intention to join the race.

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