Speaker's Profile


Yukio Hatoyama

The 93th Prime Minister of Japan(2009-2010)

Yukio Hatoyama 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, Dr. Hatoyama became President of the DPJ, the main opposition party, in May 2009.

Yukio comes from a prominent Japanese political family which has been likened to the Kennedy family of the United States. He 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.

Dr. 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.

In moving towards a more Asia-centered foreign policy, Yukio worked towards making relations better with nearby East Asian countries. He 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.

PM Hatoyama has promised a big cut in greenhouse gas emissions, saying he will aim for a 25% reduction by 2020 compared with 1990 levels. The targets were more ambitious than those of any other industrialised nations. His talk was welcome at UN and showed his leadership role of climate change.

Dr. Hatoyama graduated with a B.Eng from the University of Tokyo in 1969 and received a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University in 1976. Before becoming a politician in 1986, he worked as assistant professor (1976–1981) at Tokyo Institute of Technology and later transferred to Senshu University as associate professor (1981–1984).

Awards and honors

Sustainable Development Leadership Award

On 5 February 2010, Hatoyama was awarded the Sustainable Development Leadership Award of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2010. The reason for the award was “his effort to confront climate change and leading his government to make it a main issue”.

Time 100

In 2010, TIME magazine’s “Time 100” elected Yukio Hatoyama as No. 6 among the 100 most influential people in the world. It claimed that Hatoyama has “helped change his country from a de facto one-party state into a functional democracy,” by the DPJ victory in the 2009 general election.


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■Yukio Hatoyama: on his visit to Crimea, crucial domestic and international issues

■President Obama Meets with Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama