Yukio Hatoyama, who served as Japan’s prime minister from September 2009 to June 2010, will speak on Thursday, Feb. 8, 4:30 p.m., in Arthur Lewis Auditorium, Robertson Hall. The talk also will be livestreamed on the Wilson School’s YouTube channel.
As head of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), Hatoyama led his opposition party in 2009 to a commanding victory over the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which had ruled Japan nearly continuously since 1955. He became the first prime minister from the DPJ and previously helped found the party, serving as its head from 1999 to 2002.
Among Hatoyama’s achievements as prime minister, he oversaw increases in social spending and education, extended employment insurance to all workers, abolished public high school tuition fees, and introduced free welfare services and equipment for low-income persons with disabilities.
After leaving office, Hatoyama continues to devote his considerable resources to the construction of an East Asian community, modeled on the European Union, which he argues is the most effective and sustainable way to keep the peace and promote more a more equitable prosperity in the region.
Hatoyama hails from a Japanese political dynasty: His great-grandfather, Kazuo Hatoyama, served as speaker of the House of Representatives of the Diet of Japan from 1896 to 1897, and his grandfather, Ichiro Hatoyama, was prime minister from 1954 to 1956. Hatoyama’s father, Iichiro Hatoyama, served as Japan’s foreign minister, and his younger brother was a previous Cabinet member of the LDP government.
Hatoyama is visiting the School as part of its Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Leadership through Mentorship Program.