The Democratic Party of Japan elected veteran lawmaker Ichiro Ozawa, 63, as its new president Friday, ending his head-to-head race with rival and two-time President Naoto Kan.

Despite concern over his reputation for backroom dealing and dictatorial leadership, Ozawa received 119 of the 192 votes. Kan, 59, garnered 72 votes. One lawmaker was absent from the voting.

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