Japan's Democratic Party on Monday began talks on forming a new government, faced with the challenge of reviving the struggling economy and reshaping ties with key allies after its crushing election win.
Yukio Hatoyama's centre-left Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is under heavy pressure to get to work quickly on addressing the huge hurdles facing this fast-greying country and pulling it out of its long economic malaise.
His team huddled to select cabinet ministers and work on a smooth transition from the government of Prime Minister Taro Aso, who conceded defeat and said he would step down as president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
The DPJ won 308 seats in the powerful 480-member lower house in the poll, against the LDP's 119, ending more than half a century of almost unbroken conservative rule, according to collated official results.
Hatoyama, 62, who is expected to be confirmed by parliament as prime minister in about two weeks, is set to form a coalition with smaller partners such as the Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party.
The US-trained engineering scholar, the scion of a wealthy political dynasty and grandson of a former premier, promised to build consensus and avoid "arrogance" in government after ousting Japan's conservative old guard.