Hata, Tsutomu

Hata, Tsutomu tso͞otōˈmo͞o häˈtä [key], 1935–, Japanese politician, b. Tokyo. After 10 years in Japan's private sector, he was elected (1969) to parliament as a member of the Liberal Democrat party (LDP) from Nagano prefecture, and was consistently reelected thereafter. In the 1980s and early 90s Hata held a number of cabinet posts in LDP governments, including minister of agriculture (1988) and finance (1991–92). The plainspoken legislator subsequently broke with the LDP, which he accused of tolerating political corruption, and with Ichiro Ozawa established (1993) the short-lived Japan Renewal (Shinseito) party, sparking Japan's biggest political reorganization the postwar years. Hata was deputy prime minister and foreign minister (1993–94) under Morihiro Hosokawa, whom he briefly succeeded as prime minister in 1994. Hata resigned from office rather than face certain defeat in a parliamentary no-confidence vote. In 1995 he lost a Shinshinto (New Frontier party; Shinseito's successor) leadership contest to Ozawa.

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