A record 54 women have won seats in the new Japanese parliament, where women generally are under-represented.

However, Japan will remain below the average percentage of women MPs in developed countries.

On Sunday, Prime Minister LDP party suffered a historic defeat in parliamentary elections. Japanese voters have clearly shifted to the left. According to the official results, the centre-left Democratic Party of Japan has won 308 out of a total of 480 seats in parliament.

The LDP has gone from 300 to 119 seats, and Prime Minister Taro Aso has announced he will resign as party leader. TDPJ party leader Yukio Hatoyama will succeed Mr Aso as the new prime minister mid-September. Mr Hatoyama says he will form a coalition government with several smaller parties.

The conservative LDP, which has governed almost without interruption since 1955, has been hit with a series of political scandals. And there has been widespread criticism of its handling of the economic crisis in Japan, where unemployment is at record height.