Yukio Hatoyama: Wikis


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In this Japanese name, the family name is Hatoyama.
Yukio Hatoyama
鳩山 由紀夫

Assumed office 
16 September 2009
Monarch Akihito
Deputy Naoto Kan
Preceded by Taro Aso

Member of the Japanese House of Representatives for the 9th Hokkaidō District
Assumed office 
23 June 1986

Born 11 February 1947 (1947-02-11) (age 63)
Bunkyō, Tokyo, Japan
Political party Democratic (1998–present)
Other political
Liberal Democratic (Before 1993)
Sakigake (1993–1996)
Democratic[1] (1996–1998)
Spouse(s) Miyuki Hatoyama (1975–present)
Children Kiichiro Hatoyama
Alma mater University of Tokyo
Stanford University
Profession Engineer, Professor, Politician
Website [1]

Yukio Hatoyama (鳩山由紀夫 Hatoyama Yukio?, born 11 February 1947) is a Japanese politician who has been Prime Minister of Japan since September 2009. First elected to the House of Representatives in 1986, Hatoyama became President of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the main opposition party, in May 2009. He then led the party to victory in the August 2009 general election, defeating the long-governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). He represents the 9th district of Hokkaidō in the House of Representatives. Hatoyama is only the second Japanese Prime Minister to be born after the end of World War II; the first was Shinzō Abe.


Early life and family

Ichirō Hatoyama and his two grandsons, Yukio and Kunio

Hatoyama comes from a prominent Japanese political family which has been likened to the Kennedy family.[2]

Hatoyama, who was born in Bunkyō, Tokyo, is a fourth generation politician. His paternal great-grandfather, Kazuo Hatoyama, was speaker of the House of Representatives of the Diet of Japan from 1896 to 1897 during the Meiji era.[3] Kazuo later served as the president of Waseda University.[3] His paternal great-grandmother, Haruko Hatoyama, was a co-founder of what is known today as Kyoritsu Women's University. His paternal grandfather, Ichirō Hatoyama, was a major politician; he served as Prime Minister and was a founder and the first President of the Liberal Democratic Party (ja:自由民主党総裁 Jiyū-Minshutō Sōsai?, 1956). As Prime Minister, he restored diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, which cleared the way for Japan's membership in the United Nations.[3]

Hatoyama is the son of Iichirō Hatoyama, who was Foreign Minister for a time. His mother, Yasuko Hatoyama, is a daughter of Shojiro Ishibashi, the founder of Bridgestone Corporation and heir to his significant inheritance.[2] Yasuko Hatoyama is known as the "Godmother" within the Japanese political world for her financial contributions to both of her sons' political ambitions.[3] In particular, Yasuko donated billions of yen when Kunio and Yukio co-created the Democratic Party of Japan(DPJ) in 1996 to help establish her sons' fledgling political party.[3]

His younger brother, Kunio Hatoyama, served as Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications under Prime Minister Taro Aso until 12 June 2009. His younger sister-in-law Emily Hatoyama (ja:鳩山エミリ?) who is Kunio's wife, an Australian Japanese, was a TV star in Japan.

Hatoyama graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1969 and received a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University in 1976.[4] He met his wife, Miyuki Hatoyama, while studying at Stanford.[3] The couple married in 1975 after she divorced her previous husband.[2] The couple's son, Kiichiro, is a visiting engineering researcher at Moscow State University.[3]

Hatoyama worked as a research assistant at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and later moved to Senshu University and was promoted to assistant professor.

Political career

Hatoyama ran for a seat in Hokkaidō's 8th district and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1986 representing the ruling LDP. In 1993 he left the LDP to form the New Party Sakigake with Naoto Kan, Masayoshi Takemura and Shūsei Tanaka (ja:田中秀征?). He and Kan then left to join the newly formed Democratic Party of Japan (1996).

Hatoyama and his younger brother, Kunio Hatoyama, co-created the party, using billions of yen donated by their mother, Yasuko.[3] Kunio Hatoyama eventually left the DPJ, saying the party had drifted too far to the left from its original centrist roots, and rejoined the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).[3] Yukio remained with the party through its merger with several other opposition parties in 1998.

The elder Hatoyama became the Democratic Party of Japan's Party Chairman and leader of the opposition from 1999 to 2002, after which he resigned to take responsibility for the confusion that arose from rumors of mergers with Ichirō Ozawa's then Liberal Party. He was Secretary-General of the DPJ[4] before he succeeded Ozawa as party leader following Ozawa's resignation on 11 May 2009. Hatoyama was chosen by fellow party representatives on 16 May 2009, winning 124 of the 219 votes and defeating rival Katsuya Okada.[5] Hatoyama has indicated that his wife, Miyuki Hatoyama, will take a prominent role for a Japanese First Lady during his administration.[6]

Because of his quirky hairstyle, prominent eyes, and eccentric manner, he is known by his supporters and his opposition alike as "ET" or "The Alien"[7], a nickname his wife states he earned because of how different he is from old-style Japanese politicians. She claims he is not motivated by personal interest or greed.[8] However on 25 November 2009, the Daily Yomiuri reported that one of his former secretaries is being considered for indictment over false statements about Hatoyama's political fund involving 200 million yen.

Prime Minister

Hatoyama entered his prime minister career with high approval rates. The DPJ promised to end lavish spending on public works projects associated with LDP and to divert that money to tax cuts and subsidies for households.[9] Expectations were high that he would break strongly with the policies of the LDP.[10]

Hatoyama's popularity soon began to falter after the DPJ struggled to meet the high expectations they set in the midst of a sliding economy.

In December, a finance scandal caused a drop in Hatoyama's popularity. It was revealed that Hatoyama received $4 million in donations that were improperly reported. Most of the money was given by his mother, a wealthy heiress, and some of the reported givers had the names of deceased people. The scandal raised questions about his credibility while also highlighting his privileged background.[11]

In December, the DPJ created a government task force to review government spending and pledged to make cuts equal to $32.8 billion. However, the task force only made cuts equal to one-fourth of that amount. Hatoyama even had to renege on a campaign promise to cut road-related taxes - including a highly symbolic gasoline tax and highway tolls.[12] Hatoyama even faced criticism from fringes within his own party, some calling for a return to public works spending.[9]


Foreign policy

Hatoyama, representing the policies DPJ campaigned on, wanted to shift Japan's focus from a more America-centric foreign policy to a more Asia-focused policy. Also, he wanted to make foreign policy decisions with America more transparent, from a popular perception that Japanese foreign policy was determined by insiders behind closed doors.[13]

The DPJ's election platform called for re-examining its ties with the United States.[10] As the 1960 Japan–U.S. security treaty celebrated its 50 year anniversary, Hatoyama called for a "close and equal" Japan–U.S. relationship, meaning giving Japan a more independent role.[14]

Hatoyama ended an eight-year refueling mission in Afghanistan, a highly symbolic move because the mission had long been criticized for violating the nation's pacifist Constitution. Yet, in order to not anger Washington, Hatoyama offered $5 billion in civilian aid for Afghanistan reconstruction.[15]

Hatoyama was also faced with the issues of the relocation of the American Futenma Marine Corps Air Base. America hoped that Hatoyama would honor a 2006 agreement to relocate the base to a less populated part of Okinawa and move 8,000 marines to Guam.[16] Some voices in the DPJ demanded that America move its military bases off of Okinawa islands altogether.[13] Hatoyama was torn between public opinion on Okinawa and the desire to retain strong ties with Washington.

In moving towards a more Asia-centered foreign policy, Hatoyama worked towards making relations better with nearby East Asian countries. Hatoyama worked to deepen economic integration with the East Asian region, pushing for a free trade zone in Asia by 2020 and proposing Haneda airport as a 24-hour hub for international flights.[17] In January 2010, he welcomed South Korea's prime minister, calling for 'future-oriented' ties, as opposed to recalling the past, in which Japan colonized South Korea.[18]

Relations between China also seemed to warm under Hatoyama. The first few months saw an exchange of visits, including one by favored successor to China's leadership Xi Jinping, for whom Hatoyama hastily arranged an appointment with Emperor Akihito.[19] On 7 January, the Daily Yomiuri reported high-level discussion over a further exchange of visits between the two countries to promote reconciliation over history issues. "Beijing aims to ease anti-Japan sentiment among the Chinese public by having Hatoyama visit Nanjing and express a sense of regret about the Sino-Japanese War", the paper reported.[20]

See also


  1. ^ ja:民主党 1996-1998 (Minshutō 1996-1998?)
  2. ^ a b c Suzuki, Miwa (2009-08-24). "Japan's first lady hopeful an outgoing TV lifestyle guru". Agence France-Presse (France 24). http://www.france24.com/en/20090824-japans-first-lady-hopeful-outgoing-tv-lifestyle-guru. Retrieved 2009-08-31. ; Hayashi, Yuka. "Japan's Hatoyama Sustains Family Political Tradition," Wall Street Journal (WSJ). 1 August 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Takahashi, Kosuke. "Japan on the brink of a new era", Asia Times, 29 August 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Yukio Hatoyama". The Democratic Party of Japan. Archived from the original on 2007-08-07. http://web.archive.org/web/20070807191659/http://www.dpj.or.jp/english/about_us/sec_gen.html. 
  5. ^ "Hatoyama Wins Election to Head Japan’s Biggest Opposition Party". Bloomberg News. 2009-05-16. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=aObYYioBhmXg&refer=japan. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  6. ^ Klaus, Mary (2009-08-31). "Japanese election: Hatoyama's agenda includes tax breaks and distance from US". The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/6116139/Japanese-election-Hatoyamas-agenda-includes-tax-breaks-and-distance-from-US.html. Retrieved 2009-08-31. 
  7. ^ "New Japan PM earned alien name, wife says". Brisbane Times. 2009-08-31. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/its-in-the-blood-brothers-set-to-be-nations-political-rivals-20090830-f404.html. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  8. ^ Willacy, Mark (2009-09-01). "New Japan PM earned alien name, wife says". ABC News (Australia). http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/09/01/2673604.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  9. ^ a b Tabuchi, Hiroko (22 December 2009). "Harsh Realities Stand in the Way of a Leader’s Vision of a New Japan". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/23/world/asia/23japan.html?_r=1. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Tabuchi, Hiroko (16 September 2009). "Japan’s New Prime Minister Takes Office, Ending an Era". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/17/world/asia/17japan.html?_r=1. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  11. ^ Fackler, Martin (18 December 2009). "Doubts Grow in Japan About Premier Amid Money Scandal". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/19/world/asia/19japan.html. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  12. ^ Dow Jones (21 December 2009). "Japan Prime Minister Says Gasoline Tax Surcharges To Continue". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20091221-705659.html. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Fackler, Martin (1 December 2009). "Japan’s Relationship With U.S. Gets a Closer Look". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/02/world/asia/02japan.html. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  14. ^ Masami, Ito (19 January 2010). "As security pact with U.S. turns 50, Japan looks to redefine relations". The Japan Times. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100119f1.html. 
  15. ^ Fackler, Martin (15 January 2010). "Japan Ends Naval Support for Afghan War". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/16/world/asia/16japan.html?ref=asia. 
  16. ^ Fackler, Martin (13 November 2009). "Obama, in Japan, Says U.S. Will Study Status of a Marine Base on Okinawa". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/14/world/asia/14japan.html. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  17. ^ Tabuchi, Hiroko (30 December 2010). "Japan Unveils Plan for Growth, Emphasizing Free Trade in Asia". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/31/business/global/31yen.html?_r=1&scp=10&sq=hatoyama&st=cse. 
  18. ^ "In milestone year, Hatoyama seeks 'future-oriented' ties with South Korea". Asahi Shimbun. 8 January 2010. http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY201001080311.html. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  19. ^ Fackler, Martin (23 January 2010). "In Japan, U.S. Losing Diplomatic Ground to China". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/world/asia/24japan.html. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  20. ^ Satoshi Saeki (7 January 2010). "China proposes Hatoyama visit Nanjing Incident site". Daily Yomiuri. http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20100107TDY02303.htm. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 


  • Itoh, Mayumi. (2003). The Hatoyama Dynasty: Japanese Political Leadership through the Generations, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 10-ISBN 1-403-96331-2; 13-ISBN 978-1-403-96331-4; OCLC 248918078

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Taro Aso
Prime Minister of Japan
Party political offices
New political party Leader of the Democratic Party
Served alongside: Naoto Kan
Succeeded by
Naoto Kan
Preceded by
Naoto Kan
President of the Democratic Party
Preceded by
Ichirō Ozawa
President of the Democratic Party
House of Representatives of Japan
New constituency Representative for Hokkaido's 9th district
Preceded by
Tadashi Kodaira, Seiichi Ikehata, Haruo Okada, Shōichi Watanabe, Tatsuo Takahashi
Representative for Hokkaido's 4th district (multi-member)
Served alongside: Tatsuo Takahashi, Seiichi Ikehata, Shōichi Watanabe, Tadamasa Kodaira, Kenji Nakazawa
Constituency abolished


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