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The Democratic Party of Japan is planning to hold its party presidential election Sept. 5, earlier than its initially scheduled date, a senior DPJ lawmaker said.

The plan is intended to renew the ruling party’s leadership lineup following its serious setback in the Upper House election Sunday, the lawmaker said.

The DPJ’s initial plan was to hold the leadership election in late September, when Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s term as president expires.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said at a news conference Tuesday that whoever becomes new DPJ president, and hence the prime minister, will choose new members of the Cabinet. Sengoku’s remarks suggest that Kan, who took office one month ago, will also choose Cabinet members from scratch if he is re-elected party president.

The lineup of Kan’s Cabinet had only minor changes from the one named by his predecessor, Yukio Hatoyama, who resigned in early June.

The ruling coalition led by the DPJ failed to maintain a majority in the Upper House. But the DPJ remains the major ruling party as it holds an overwhelming majority in the more powerful Lower House.

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