TOKYO – Japan’s Cabinet resigned today to clear the way for a ruling party vote to select a successor to former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

Members of the Democratic Party of Japan will meet this morning to pick a new party chief, who will almost certainly be installed as prime minister because the ruling party controls a majority in the more powerful lower house of parliament.

Former Finance Minister Naoto Kan, a straight-talker with activist roots, is widely expected to succeed Hatoyama, who quit amid plunging approval ratings and public disappointment over his broken campaign promises.

The other candidate is little-known Shinji Tarutoko, chairman of the party’s environmental committee.