Ikeda, Hayato häyä´tō ēkā´dä [key], 1899–1965, Japanese political leader, prime minister (1960–64). After serving as an official in the finance ministry (1925–48) he entered politics, gaining election to Japan's house of representatives (1949). During the next decade he held a variety of ministerial posts, including finance minister (1949–52, 1956–57) and international trade and industry minister (1959–60). A moderate, he became prime minister in 1960 when adverse public reaction to the United States–Japan Security Treaty caused Nobusuke Kishi to resign. A member of Japan's dominant Liberal-Democratic party, Ikeda emphasized economic progress during his term in office. He left the prime ministry in late 1964, shortly before he died from cancer.
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