Hatoyama Ichirō

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Hatoyama Ichirō

Hatoyama Ichirō ( Japanese 鳩 山 一郎 ; born January 1, 1883 in Ushigome , Tokyo (today: Shinjuku ); † March 7, 1959 in Tokyo) was a Japanese politician and from 1954 to 1956 the Prime Minister of Japan . After the Second World War he founded the Liberal Party , the Democratic Party, and was involved in the merger of the two to form the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in 1955 . Hatoyama was chairman of the three parties.



Hatoyama came from a samurai family in Katsuyama - han . His father Hatoyama Kazuo studied law and was one of the first Japanese students abroad. He then became an official in the State Department and MP for the Meiji Period . His mother Hatoyama Haruko was involved in setting up Christian educational institutions in Japan. As the eldest son, Hatoyama Ichirō followed his father and, like him, studied law at the Imperial University of Tōkyō , where he graduated in 1907. In 1908 he married the eldest daughter of the member of the nationalist group Gen'yōsha Terada Sakae , later a member of the manor house .

MP before World War II

Hatoyama Ichirō (photography 1932)

Hatoyama was elected to the city council of Tōkyō after his father's death in 1911 . In 1915 he became a member of the House of Commons for the Rikken Seiyūkai party ( 立 憲政 友 会 , dt. "Friends of the constitutional government"). From 1927 to 1929 he was chief secretary of the cabinet (then: 内閣 書記官長 , Naikaku Shokikanchō ) in the cabinet of Tanaka Giichi . Hatoyama was Minister of Education from 1931 to 1934 . Even if he was fundamentally in favor of party rule, he tolerated the increasing militarization and de-democratization of Japan; Hatoyama defended the Japanese invasion of China in 1937 as a step in the interests of “the satisfaction of the Chinese people”. Only after the attack on the USA did he distance himself more from the militarists. After criticizing Tōjō Hideki's war cabinet , Hatoyama retired to Karuizawa in 1943 .

Building the bourgeois parties

After the war Hatoyama returned to Tōkyō and founded the Liberal Party there , became its first chairman and made it the strongest party in the 1946 general election . Initially charged with forming a government after the election, he was “cleaned up” by the occupation authorities ( Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers , abbreviated “SCAP”) because of collaboration with the military government during the war. H. excluded from public office before he was appointed prime minister, and left party leadership and government formation to his fellow party member Yoshida Shigeru . Shortly before the ban on office was lifted in 1951, Hatoyama suffered a stroke.

Hatoyama increasingly distanced itself from Yoshida's foreign policy, which was exclusively aimed at the USA. Since Yoshida was not ready to leave his office to Hatoyama, Hatoyama founded the Democratic Party of Japan with his supporters in 1954 and overthrew Yoshida through an alliance with the socialists in the lower house - the latter resigned before the impending defeat of the vote - and became prime minister himself ( Cabinet Hatoyama I ).


Hatoyama Kaikan: The former family seat in the Otowa district of Tokyo's Bunkyō district - nickname in Hatoyama's time: Otowa goten ( 音 羽 御 殿 , "Otowa Palace" or "Courtyard") - is now open to the public as a museum.

Shortly after his election, Hatoyama dissolved the House of Commons in order not to be so dependent on the votes of the socialists. As the Baptist Hatoyama put it, he had previously "heard the voice of heaven" ( 天 の 声 を 受 け た ). His Democratic Party became the strongest force in the general election in 1955 , but remained without an absolute majority and Hatoyama's second cabinet was again a minority government. In 1955, in response to the unification of the right and left wings of the Socialist Party and because the Liberals were not ready to support his government as a junior partner without a party union, the "Conservative Fusion" ( 保守 合同 , Hoshu Gōdō ) of Democrats and Liberals Party to the Liberal Democratic Party, which essentially transformed Japan into a two-party system - albeit an unequal one, hence sometimes also: "one and a half party system". Hatoyama became chairman of the new party, and the LDP's decade-long sole government began with his third cabinet .

Domestically, he intensified the “counter” or “reversal” ( 逆 コ ー ス , gyaku kōsu ) of the occupation policy, which had already begun under Douglas MacArthur, especially after the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 in the “cold” war , with which some measures of the early occupation period for democratization and decentralization were weakened or partially withdrawn and the political left was pushed back and partly persecuted after initial US goodwill (at the height of 1950: Red Purge against Communists). During Hatoyama's reign, one of the anti-trust laws of 1947 intended to crush the Zaibatsu were abolished, the educational committees elected since 1948 at the prefectural and municipal level were abolished, and a number of Class A war criminals who were in who had been sentenced to life imprisonment in the Tokyo Trials have been released.

He continued the defensive rearmament of Japan initiated in the Korean War in the form of the self-defense forces. In the upper house elections in 1956 , Hatoyama's LDP failed to achieve the goal of gaining a conservative two-thirds majority together with allies, which would have been necessary in order to amend the constitution, in particular Article 9, and to be able to play a military role in the Cold War beyond national defense - In Western Europe, a collective defense alliance with the USA was already being formed in the form of NATO, while the US-Japanese security treaty remains asymmetrical into the 21st century, because outside of Japan Japan only engages in logistical and humanitarian military operations by the USA or theirs Allies involved. Hatoyama's attempt to use the so-called “Hatomander” to convert the electoral system for the House of Commons to single-mandate constituencies (winner-take-all) failed.

In terms of foreign policy, Hatoyama campaigned for the resumption of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and reduced the one-sided focus on the USA without departing from the basic line of the Yoshida doctrine . In the fall of 1956 Hatoyama traveled to Moscow, where the joint Soviet-Japanese declaration did not provide a peace treaty or a solution to the dispute over the southern Kuril Islands , but a basis for future negotiations, the abandonment of reparation claims and the Soviet approval of Japan's membership of the UN . A little later he resigned in December 1956.

After a total of 15 successes in the general election between 1915 and 1958 - in every election with the exception of 1947 and 1949 during the ban on office - Hatoyama remained a member of the electoral district of Tokyo, in which Otowa and the Koishikawa and / or Koishikawa districts, until his death. Bunkyō lay.


Hatoyama's eldest son Iichirō also became an LDP politician and was Japanese Foreign Minister from 1976 to 1977. His sons Yukio (2009 to 2010 Chairman of the Democratic Party and Prime Minister ) and Kunio (Minister of Justice) and Kunio's sons Tarō (former MP for the Bunkyō district in the Tokyo Prefecture Parliament) and Jirō ( Member of the House of Commons from Fukuoka Prefecture) also became politicians.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Time, December 20, 1954: The Man Who Came Back . P. 2


  • Janet E. Hunter: Concise Dictionary of Modern Japanese History , Kodansha International, University of California Press, 1984, p. 56.
  • Mayumi Itoh: The Hatoyama Dynasty. Japanese Political Leadership Through the Generations , Palgrave MacMillan, New York 2003.

Web links

Commons : Hatoyama Ichirō  - collection of images, videos and audio files