Profile: Outgoing Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama
    2010-06-03 00:17:10     Xinhua      Web Editor: Jiang Aitao
 

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama announced Wednesday his decision to resign, making him the fourth Japanese prime minister to step down in four years.

Hatoyama was born in Tokyo on February 11, 1947. He graduated from the engineering science department of Tokyo University in 1969 and earned a doctor's degree in engineering science at Stanford University in 1976.

Hatoyama was born to a political family: his great-grandfather Kazuo Hatoyama was a member of the House of Representatives, his grandfather is former Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama, his father former Foreign Minister Iichiro Hatoyama and his brother, Kunio, was minister of internal affairs and communications until June of last year.

Hatoyama started his political life in 1986 as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which ruled Japan from 1955 to 2009, but left to help form the conservative reformist New Party Sakigake in 1993. Sakigake, however, had a short life, and Hatoyama left the party in 1996. He helped form the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which was launched in 1998.

The DPJ, which in its early years included influential politicians such as Naoto Kan and former Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata, grew over the next few years, and with it, so did Hatoyama's stature.

Hatoyama was leader of the DPJ from 1999 to 2002, but was forced to step down over his involvement in merger talks with Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the Liberal Party.

After a few years in the political wilderness, Hatoyama was appointed secretary general of the DPJ in September 2005, a post he kept until he took over as leader in May 2009 after winning a contest with the party's Vice President Katsuya Okada.

After Hatoyama became president of the party, the DPJ's approval ratings increased, while approval for the LDP continued to plummet.

On August 30, 2009, the DPJ won a landslide victory in general elections, ending the LDP's unbroken rule of more than half a century.

On September 16, 2009, as leader of the DPJ, Hatoyama was procedurally elected prime minister in parliamentary voting.

As prime minister, Hatoyama aimed to improve people's living standards by increasing investment in welfare projects. On security and diplomatic affairs, he opposed excessive reliance on the United States and stressed the importance of developing relations with Asian countries.

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