Japanese PM Hatoyama To Resign
by Charles Lemos, Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 11:07:51 PM EDT
After an eight month tenure marked by scandal and a failure to fulfill key campaign promises, most notably his government's failure to close an American air force base off Okinawa, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is to resign. The decision to resign came in the wake of the move by the left-of-centre Social Democratic Party which had dropped out of the three-party governing coalition, saying that the Prime Minister had turned his back on the Okinawans, who were outraged by his decision to give in to the US and keep the troublesome base on Okinawa.
On Friday, PM Hatoyama had sacked a cabinet minister because of sharp differences over the fate of the controversial US airbase. The dismissal of Mizuho Fukushima, the Consumer Affairs minister, then led to the split in the coalition. The other party, the New People's Party, remains in the coalition. While the government would still retain its majority in both houses of parliament, the defection by the Social Democrats further dampens Mr. Hatoyama’s already bleak prospects in upper house elections in July.
Last August, Hatoyama led his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to landmark landslide that ousted the long governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) with the DPJ winning 308 out of 480 seats.
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