Yukio Hatoyama life and biography

Yukio Hatoyama picture, image, poster

Yukio Hatoyama biography

Date of birth : 1947-02-11
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Japan
Nationality : Japanese
Category : Politics
Last modified : 2010-07-22
Credited as : Politician, Prime Minister of Japan, World's political leader

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Yukio Hatoyama, born February 11, 1947 in Japan is a Japanese politician and the current Prime Minister of Japan.

In May of 2009, Yukio Hatoyama was elected president of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). It was his second time in the role, having previously headed the party from 1999 to 2002, but the reprise was particularly auspicious in that it corresponded with the likelihood of wresting power from the half-century-long grip of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Hatoyama, who was a fourth-generation politician, was thus poised to become prime minister of Japan in September. As expected, Hatoyama took office as prime minister on September 16, 2009.

To Politics Born

Hatoyama was born into a Japanese political dynasty on February 11, 1947. His great-grandfather had been speaker of parliament, his grandfather prime minister, and his father foreign minister. And not incidentally, his mother was heiress to the Bridgestone Tire fortune. It is thus perhaps not surprising that the family was often compared to the Kennedys of the United States. Hatoyama, the eldest son, earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from Tokyo University (1969) and a doctorate in the field from Stanford University (1976). He then taught at Senshyu University for a while and served as his father's private secretary before following family tradition and launching his own political career in 1986.

First elected to the House of Representatives in 1986, Hatoyama was a member of the long-dominant LDP at the time. That changed when he jumped ship to join the New Party Sakigake in 1993, but that alliance was relatively brief as he co-founded the DPJ in 1996. (His younger brother, Kunio, who went on to become minister of internal affairs and communications, joined him in the new party.) Hatoyama served as secretary general (1997), deputy secretary general (1998), and leader (1999 to 2002) of the DPJ, as well as chairing various committees in the House. In October of 2004 he once again became secretary general, and in May of 2009 he reprised his role as leader of the party. But by that time, Japanese politics was on the verge of a major change.

Party Leader and Prime Minister

When Hatoyama was elected head of the DPJ for the second time, the LDP had been in power for about 50 years. However, despite a fundraising scandal that forced the resignation of Hatoyama's immediate predecessor as party leader, public opinion polls indicated that the Japanese people were ready for a change in government, including hopes for the country's economic improvement. That inclination increased after Hatoyama's ascension to the top party spot, with polls favoring him as prime minister over the incumbent coming in at 43.6 percent to 32 percent. As the September 2009 election approached, it appeared likely that the LDP's day had passed and that Hatoyama's (and the DPJ's) had just begun to dawn. Hatoyama was elected, and with his new cabinet, a new era of leadership and a hope for positive change had come to Japan.

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