Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Wednesday confirmed September 22 as the date to select the next prime minister after Yasuo Fukuda's abrupt resignation.
The election will decide the president of the LDP, who is then certain to become prime minister due to the party's majority in the lower house.
"Today we formally decided to set the date of the election for party president on September 22," Takashi Sasagawa, chairman of the LDP's general affairs committee, told reporters.
A committee had yesterday proposed the date, which comes one day after the main opposition Democratic Party holds its own election.
Candidates must declare their candidacy by September 10 and will deliver speeches in at least 11 cities across Japan before the vote, Sasagawa said.
A total of 528 LDP members can vote -- 304 lower house lawmakers, 83 upper house lawmakers and 141 provincial members of the party.
Taro Aso, a former foreign minister, is seen as the front-runner to replace Fukuda, who suddenly quit Monday after failing to lift low approval ratings.