Japanese PM Resigns Over Okinawa U.S. Base

Facing pressure from within his own Democratic Party of Japan, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has announced his resignation on Wednesday, marking the fourth time in four years that a Japanese leader is stepping down. In a televised address, Hatoyama cited his failure to deliver on a promise to remove a U.S. base in Okinawa as reason for his resignation.

Hatoyama, who came to power in September after the Democratic Party trounced the then-ruling conservatives, acknowledged that it was because of his own “failings” that he failed to fulfill his campaign promise. As late as Tuesday, Hatoyama had vowed to stay in power amid growing calls for his resignation.

His eight-month rule was marked by accusations of indecisions and inconsistencies, but it was his decision to relocate the U.S. base from Okinawa’s southern part to the northern part instead of removing it that became the last straw. His approval rating has significantly dropped over the past months, hurting his party’s chances in upper house elections set for next month.