Noda, Yoshihiko, 1957–, Japanese political leader, prime minister of Japan, (2011–12), b. Funabashi, studied Waseda Univ. (grad. 1980) and Matsushita Institute of Government and Management. Noda became involved in local politics in 1987 and was first elected to the Diet in 1993 as a member of the Japan New Party. A member of the Democratic party of Japan (DPJ) from 1998, he served as senior vice finance minister (2009–10) and finance minister (2010–11). He backed Prime Minister Naoto Kan's push to limit new bond sales to curtail gross public debt, and oversaw Japan's intervention in the foreign exchange market in order to control the yen's rapid appreciation. Following Kan's resignation in Aug., 2011, Noda was elected party leader and became prime minister in Sept., 2011. He worked to speed up the country's recovery from the Mar., 2011, tsunami and nuclear disaster, but lost office when the DPJ was defeated in a landslide in Dec., 2012.