Japan Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda is all set to become the country's next prime minister, Xinhua reported Monday.
Noda's occupying the coveted post looked certain after he defeated Banri Kaieda, the economy, trade and industry minister, in a run-off to win the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) presidential election Monday.
The 54-year-old will become the third prime minister since the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) swept to power in a historic general election victory two years ago.
He will also be becoming Japan's sixth premier in just five years, as DPJ controls the more powerful lower house in the Diet, the Japanese parliament.
Noda received 215 votes out of 392 valid votes, compared to 177 votes for Kaieda, who is backed by DPJ power broker Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the largest intra-party faction.
Noda will have to cope with challenges including reviving a stagnant economy, rebuilding the earthquake and tsunami-devastated areas, ending the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl disaster in Fukushima, arresting a surging yen which threatens export, and seeking cooperation from opposition parties which control the senate.
Outgoing Prime Minister Naoto Kan resigned as DPJ chief Friday.
Kan is expected to step down as prime minister Tuesday after taking office 14 months ago, the longest-serving premier in five years.