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'Godmother' of Japan's Kennedys dies

Published on Feb 12, 2013 11:41 AM

TOKYO (AFP) - The mother of former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama, who was dubbed the "Godmother" of a powerful political and business clan, has died, her younger son's office said Tuesday. She was 90.

Ms Yasuko Hatoyama, the daughter of the founder of tyremaker Bridgestone, married into the Hatoyamas, a powerful political family sometimes dubbed "Japan's Kennedys". She married former foreign minister Iichiro Hatoyama, whose father was a prime minister shortly after World War II.

Her sons both became parliamentarians, with the older, Yukio, becoming prime minister in 2009 as the leader of the centre-left Democratic Party of Japan.

He stepped down after less than nine months amid widespread complaints about his dithering and his weak leadership style.

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