Liberal Democratic Party candidate Kunio Hatoyama, the younger brother of Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Hatoyama, said Friday he is prepared for criticism over his decision to leave the DPJ.
“I was not as ready to work with leftists as my brother Yukio,” Kunio Hatoyama told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan. He is running as an LDP candidate in the June 25 Lower House election.
The younger Hatoyama, 51, originally an LDP lawmaker, helped launch the DPJ, the main opposition force, in September 1996 with his 53-year-old brother and former Health and Welfare Minister Naoto Kan.
In a general election held one month later, Kunio Hatoyama, who has served as minister for labor and education, was elected as a DPJ lawmaker for Tokyo’s No. 2 constituency.
“But after working with guys who came to the new party from other opposition parties, I realized I shouldn’t have joined the DPJ,” Kunio Hatoyama said.
“For example, lawmakers who do not have the same standpoints — who even have conflicts on Japan-U.S. security policy and amendments to the Constitution — are working together,” he said.
“I was deceived by Yukio,” he said, saying his brother did not fully disclose who would join the new party.
After spending a “frustrating” 11/2 years in the DPJ, Kunio Hatoyama, who called himself a “black sheep” in the party, ran in the Tokyo gubernatorial election in April 1999 “to take responsibility for having launched the wrong party.”
The Hatoyama brothers, grandsons of the late Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama, who was instrumental in founding the LDP in 1955, left the party in 1993. Their father, Iichiro Hatoyama, once served as foreign minister.
In May, 13 months after losing to Shintaro Ishihara in the Tokyo gubernatorial election, Kunio Hatoyama announced he would rejoin the LDP and run for a proportional-representation seat in the Lower House election on an LDP ticket.
Commenting on his switching parties so often, he said: “I’ve been feeling kind of defeated. I have joined many parties with the hope of reconstructing the fundamental framework of Japanese politics, but I failed.”