Seasoned lawmaker Ichiro Ozawa was elected new president of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the largest opposition party, in its presidential election on Friday afternoon.
Ozawa, 63, received 119 votes from the party's 191 present lawmakers, while his only rivalry Naoto Kan, 59, garnered 72 votes.
After the somewhat foreseen outcome was announced, the two joined hands on the stage and waved to the lawmakers to receive their cheers and applause, TV footage shows.
Ozawa, who is former vice president of the party, promised to dedicate all his strength to realizing a DPJ regime.
He expressed his desire in a policy speech before voting to rebuild the DPJ into Japan's "No. 1 opposition party that is trusted and stable," so it will ultimately be able to take power and make Japan "a fair nation."
Seiji Maehara resigned as leader of the DPJ on March 31 to take responsibility of false accusations a member lawmaker made towards a senior Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker in February on the basis of a fabricated e-mail.
Ozawa is expected to strive to restore the party's credibility during the remainder of Maehara's term through September, and to enable it to vie again with the LDP in major elections slated for next year, Japanese media said.
He also mentioned in his policy paper a vision to improve ties with neighboring countries such as China and South Korea.
Ozawa, bearing an aggressive manner and a tough image, is known for having stirred up Japanese politics on and off by breaking up and forming various political groupings either in power or otherwise since the 1990s.