Ikeda, Hayato(häyä`tō ēkā`dä), 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.
Born Dec. 3, 1899, in the prefecture of Hiroshima; died Aug. 13, 1965, in Tokyo. Japanese statesman.
A graduate of the law department of the University of Kyoto (1925), Ikeda was deputy minister of finance in 1947 and 1948, minister of finance from 1949 to 1952, minister of foreign trade and industry in 1952, minister of finance in 1956 and 1957, state minister (minister without portfolio) in 1958, and minister of foreign trade and industry in 1959 and 1960. From 1960 to 1964, Ikeda was president of the Liberal Democratic Party and prime minister of Japan. In 1961 the Ikeda government founded the fund for economic cooperation with other countries, to help Japanese investments abroad in view of the growing economic and political expansion of Japanese monopolies in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.