Friday, February 17, 2012

Yukio Hatoyama

Yukio Hatoyama (鳩山 由紀夫, Hatoyama, Yukio, born 11 February 1947) is a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan between 16 September 2009 and 2 June 2010, and was the first ever Prime Minister from the modern Democratic Party of Japan.

First elected to the House of Representatives in 1986, Hatoyama became President of the 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.

Early Life and Family
Hatoyama comes from a prominent Japanese political family which has been likened to the Kennedy family of the United States.

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. Kazuo later served as the president of Waseda University. 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 in 1956. As Prime Minister, he restored diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, which cleared the way for Japan's membership in the United Nations.

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. Yasuko Hatoyama is known as the "Godmother" within the Japanese political world for her financial contributions to both of her sons' political ambitions. In particular, Yasuko donated billions of yen when Kunio and Yukio co-created their previous Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) in 1996 to help establish her sons' fledgling political party.

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 (鳩山エミリ?) who is Kunio's wife, an Australian Japanese, was a TV personality in Japan.

Hatoyama graduated with a B.Eng from the University of Tokyo in 1969 and received a PhD in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University in 1976. He met his wife, Miyuki Hatoyama, while studying at Stanford (Miyuki worked at a Japanese restaurant). The couple married in 1975 after Miyuki divorced her ex-husband. The couple's son, Kiichirō (紀一郎?), graduated from the urban engineering department of the University of Tokyo, is a visiting engineering researcher at Moscow State University.

Hatoyama worked as assistant professor (1976–1981) at Tokyo Institute of Technology and later transferred to Senshu University as associate professor (1981–1984).

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