After taking the helm of the Democratic Party of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama will have no breathing space at all as he attempts to lead the main opposition party back into position to take the pivotal Lower House election it had been favored to win.

Political observers say some of the major tasks Hatoyama faces include uniting the party by mending ties with rival Katsuya Okada and his supporters, polishing policies to convince voters it can run the government, and demonstrating initiatives of his own instead of relying on former President Ichiro Ozawa.

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