Japan's Diet voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to name Shinzo Abe, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, as the nation's new prime minister.

The 58-year-old Abe received the votes of 328 of the 480 members of the lower house.

The LDP, which ruled Japan almost without interruption from 1955-2009, swept back into power with a landslide in the Dec. 16 general elections.

Prior to Wednesday's vote in parliament, the outgoing Democratic Party administration of Yoshihiko Noda resigned en masse to make way for the return of Abe, who held the post of premier in 2006-2007.

Abe and his Cabinet were to be formally sworn-in later Wednesday in a ceremony at the imperial palace.

Japan's seventh prime minister in less than seven years is taking the reins of an economy sliding into recession as the northeastern part of the country struggles to recover from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that sparked a crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Abe, known as a foreign-policy hawk, will also have to address an ongoing dispute with China over control of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. EFE