Ikeda, Hayato, 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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