Obama Recalls Ex-Japan PM Hatoyama as "Pleasant If Awkward"


Washington, Nov. 16 (Jiji Press)--Former U.S. President Barack Obama in his memoir to be released on Tuesday recalled then Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama as being "pleasant if awkward" in their first bilateral summit held in November 2009.

In his book, Obama said, "A pleasant if awkward fellow, Hatoyama was Japan's fourth prime minister in less than three years and the second since I'd taken office--a symptom of the sclerotic, aimless politics that had plagued Japan for much of the decade."

Obama is believed to have grown distrustful of Hatoyama after the then prime minister started reviewing the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air base in Ginowan, in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa, to the Henoko coastal district in Nago, another city in the prefecture, despite telling the then U.S. president to trust him during their meeting. The relocation plan is based on a Japan-U.S. agreement.

Hatoyama became Japan's prime minister in September 2009 after leading the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan to a landslide victory in the House of Representatives election in August that year.

The DPJ seized power from the Liberal Democratic Party.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press