The Democratic Party of Japan is making preparations for taking over the government as the Diet is expected to choose DPJ leader Yukio Hatoyama as prime minister in the middle of this month. It has to decide on the personnel lineup of the party itself and the new Cabinet, while carrying out talks with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the People’s New Party (Kokumin Shinto) on forming a coalition. It needs to do these things quickly and smoothly.

After the Hatoyama Cabinet is formed, the new government and the DPJ must outline the fiscal 2010 budget. This means that they must change in a short time the governing system established by the Liberal Democratic Party during its nearly uninterrupted rule since 1955. With Sunday’s landslide victory in the Lower House election behind it, the DPJ’s governing ability will be tested soon.

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