Yukio Hatoyama, Former Prime Minister of Japan
Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 12:30 - 14:00
Although Yukio Hatoyama is just one of many former prime ministers in recent years, he stands out as a unique political thoroughbred many Japanese, including his onetime colleagues, have trouble understanding.
Defying warnings from the Japanese government and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) which he once headed, Hatoyama met Crimean leader Sergey Aksyonov in Simferopol in March. He said Japan should normalize its relations with Russia by lifting its sanctions on Moscow imposed in response to Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in southern Ukraine.
The DPJ, which is aiming to wrest control of the country from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has distanced itself from him on his Crimean trip as well as his controversial 2013 remarks on the ownership of the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands, apparently siding with China.
Hatoyama assumed the premiership in September 2009, backed by high approval ratings, and quickly vowed to move the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Base out of Okinawa. But he quit less than one year after failing to follow up on the promise.
Hatoyama, 68, now heads the East Asian Community Institute. He will come to the Club to offer his take on these and other crucial domestic and international issues as he continues his self-styled odyssey.