The Straits Times
Published on Nov 21, 2012

Japan former PM dubbed 'The Alien' to leave politics


TOKYO (AFP) - Former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama said on Wednesday he would retire from politics at next month's election and leave the party he founded.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told reporters that Mr Hatoyama, whose wild-eyed expression contributed to his being dubbed "The Alien" by the Japanese press, had said he "will not run in the general election, and is retiring from politics".

Commentators believe the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) will get a drubbing at the Dec 16 poll.

Mr Hatoyama's opposition to Mr Noda's sales tax rise and plans to join a trans-Pacific free trade deal were instrumental in the decision, earlier reports said.