Japanese PM Resigns Over Failure to Move US Base

A Week After Public Apology, Hatoyama Leaves Office

by Jason Ditz, June 01, 2010

Just over a week after being forced to make a public apology, admitting that his campaign promise to get the US to abandon a military a base in Okinawa would go unfulfilled, Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio has tendered his resignation, putting an end to his eight month reign.

Hatoyama’s party came to office on the back of campaign pledges to pursue an independent foreign policy and calls to renegotiate cushy US base deals made by the long-standing ruling party, but in the end US refusal to negotiate and Hatoyama’s inability to organize convincing resistence ended any hope of him accomplishing anything.

The resignation was likely under heavy political pressure, as has popularity flounders and his party struggles to compete in the upcoming election. Hatoyama’s political strategist is said to have resigned as well.

It is unclear so far who will replace the prime minister, but with his approval rating having gone from 70% to the mid teens in just eight months, anyone will likely be welcomed as an alternative.

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