LDP chooses reformist as new president

Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), facing exclusion from power next month after 38 years in government, chose a reformist, Yohei Kono, as its new president, Reuter reports from Tokyo. He defeated the veteran Michio Watanabe by 208 to 159 in a party ballot. Mr Kono succeeds the outgoing Prime Minister, Kiichi Miyazawa, who resigned from the party post after the LDP failed to gain a majority in general elections on 18 July. Mr Miyazawa stays on as caretaker prime minister.