The former leader of the Democratic Party, ex prime minister Yukio Hatoyama, will retire from politics after an open conflict with the leadership of the party over the current campaign platform.
Hatoyama, dubbed a “space alien” by the Japanese press for his sometimes wild-eyed expression, quit as premier in 2010 after less than a year in office.
The Democratic Party of Japan is expected to lose the upcoming general election, as main opposition Liberal Democratic Party is positioned well ahead in the polls.
Hatoyama’s message for prime minister Yoshihiko Noda was “please work hard to prevent a return to old-style politics and move forward with what we tried to accomplish with the change of government,” according to Kyodo.
It is however Hatoyama the one who may be hold responsible for wasting Democratic Party political capital during his mandate, when he was often indecisive, according to analysts quoted by the international press.
Hatoyama, 65, is a fourth-generation politician and the second in the family to become prime minister, after his grandfather. His other grandfather founded tyremaker Bridgestone.