Fukuda, Yasuo

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Yasuo Fukuda (yäsōō´ō fōōkōō´dä), 1936–, Japanese politician. Son of ex-prime minister (1976–78) Takeo Fukuda, he attended Waseda Univ. (grad. 1959) and worked for an oil company for 17 years. He acted as his father's secretary when the elder Fukuda was prime minister, but did not seek political office until 1990 when he ran for parliament and won a seat in the lower house. A widely respected moderate, he became deputy director of the ruling Liberal Democratic party (LDP) in 1997 and served (2000–2004) two prime ministers as chief cabinet secretary. After the resignation (2007) of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Fukuda was elected head of the LDP and became prime minister, but he resigned a year later because his government was hampered by unpopularity and opposition control of the upper house of parliament. Taro Aso succeeded him.