Hatoyama’s eldest son, Kiichiro, in demand as potential heir apparent

Kyodo News

Kiichiro Hatoyama, the eldest son of prime minister-in-waiting Yukio Hatoyama, is being spotlighted by the media as a potential successor to his father’s political dynasty.

After his father’s Democratic Party of Japan won a landslide victory in the Aug. 30 general election, the researcher and guest lecturer at Moscow State University, who also is an expert in urban engineering, became a highly sought-after interview subject.

In an interview, Hatoyama, 33, admitted he is not indifferent to politics, indicating he might seek a Diet seat in the future, following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grand fathers, who were all noted politicians.

But Hatoyama said he wants to stay in Moscow for at least another 1 1/2 years to continue his research, adding that he will publicize his proposals for easing traffic jams in the capital city by improving traffic light control management.

“(My father) has never told me I should become a politician, but I can’t say I’m not interested in politics,” he said.

However, “I would not run by merely depending on the fame (of the family),” Hatoyama added, given public criticism of the “hereditary” politicians who get into the Diet mainly due to the political influence of their kin.

Hatoyama also expressed hope of contributing to the development of the Russia-Japan relationship.

His great-grandfather, Ichiro Hatoyama, revived Japan’s relationship with the Soviet Union in 1956, after the two countries severed diplomatic ties over the Soviet Union’s invasion of Manchuria just before the end of World War II.

Hatoyama went to Moscow in February last year, and lives in a university dormitory with his wife.