Ikeda Hayato


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(b. 3 Dec. 1899, d. 13 Aug. 1965).

Prime Minister of Japan 1960–4 Following a career in the pivotal Ministry of Finance as a civil servant, in 1949 he was elected to the House of Representatives; and as a member of Yoshida Shigeru's Liberal Party, he entered the Cabinet as Minister of Finance (1949–52). During this time, his role as the planner of Japan's economic recovery was so important that he was the only member of the government to retain his job in Yoshida's Cabinet reshuffle. Ikeda also played a secret and key part in the peace negotiations with the USA, which led to the Peace Treaty of San Francisco in 1951. On succeeding Kishi Nobusuke as Prime Minister, Ikeda contrasted the confrontational policies of his predecessor with his low‐key but highly popular ‘income doubling plan’, which promoted the expansion of the Japanese economy. Often perceived by his contemporaries as a dour bureaucrat whose elite background gave him little understanding of the needs of ordinary Japanese, Ikeda is now remembered as one of the chief architects of Japan's rapid economic growth in the postwar era.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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