Japan's ruling and opposition leaders agreed on Thursday to elect a new prime minister on Sept 26,
Kyodo News agency
Leaders of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the largest opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, on Thursday agreed to convene Parliament on September 26 to have a vote to elect a new leader to replace Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Kyodo said.
Koizumi has said he will step down this month. Hawkish lawmaker Shinzo Abe, currently Chief Cabinet Spokesman in the Koizumi Cabinet, is considered the front-runner in the September 20 leadership election of the LDP.
Whoever wins that race is expected to succeed Koizumi because the party holds the majority of seats in Parliament's powerful lower house.