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Next Japan PM talks of 'fraternity' and love
Updated: 2009-08-30 20:38

TOKYO: For the next prime minister of Japan, it's all about love and fraternity.

Next Japan PM talks of 'fraternity' and love

Japan's main opposition Democratic Party leader Yukio Hatoyama raises his fist during the final campaign for the Sunday's lower house election in Tokyo August 29, 2009. [Agencies] Next Japan PM talks of 'fraternity' and love

Democratic Party leader Yukio Hatoyama has put the fuzzy notion of "yuai", or fraternity, at the core of his political philosophy, puzzling many voters and raising eyebrows abroad when he twins it with criticism of global capitalism.

Some also wonder if he will be radically different from the ageing politicians in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which lost power to the Democrats on Sunday after ruling for most of the last 54 years, given his grandfather helped found the LDP.

Hatoyama has constantly attacked the LDP for leaving policy-making in the hands of unelected bureaucrats.

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"As a result, there have been policies that are out of touch with people and that lack love," he said during a race for the Democratic Party leadership in May.

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) picked the bouffant-haired Hatoyama, 62, to lead the party after his predecessor stepped down over a funding scandal.

Supporters argued Hatoyama was best able to hold the sometimes fractious party together, even if he was less popular among ordinary voters than his rival for the leadership post.

"It's very important not to have enemies," said one Democratic Party source, explaining Hatoyama's victory.

His party leadership campaign slogan of "fraternity", a concept he inherited from his grandfather, sparked more bemusement than interest among voters more focused on economic woes and rising unemployment.

Though seen by some analysts as vague, Hatoyama uses the word to advocate his goals for closer-knit communities at home and better relations with countries abroad, especially East Asia.

In an essay published this month in the New York Times, Hatoyama railed at what he called the "unrestrained market fundamentalism" of US-led globalisation.

"Fraternity" was the answer, he said, calling it a "principle that aims to adjust to the excesses of the current globalised brand of capitalism and accommodate local economic practices that have been fostered through our traditions".

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