"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Japan's Prime Minister Resigning


Yukio Hatoyama, Japan's Prime Minister, has announced that he will resign.


"Embattled Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Wednesday he was resigning over his broken campaign promise to move a U.S. Marine base off the southern island of Okinawa.

[...]

"Until Tuesday night, Hatoyama insisted he would stay on while intermittently holding talks with key members of his Democratic Party of Japan. But on Wednesday morning, after eight months in office, Hatoyama faced the nation to say he was stepping down.

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"Hatoyama, 63, cited two main reasons for his resignation: the Futenma issue, which led to the dismissal of one of his Cabinet members who could not accept his decision, and a political funding scandal. In that incident, two of his aides were convicted of falsifying political contribution reports and sentenced to suspended prison terms. Hatoyama himself did not face charges in the case, but it tainted his image.

[...]

"Hatoyama had promised to forge a 'more equal' relationship with the United States and to move Futenma off Okinawa, which hosts more than half the 47,000 U.S. troops in Japan under a security pact.

"But last week, he said he would go along with the 2006 agreement to move the base to a northern part of the island, infuriating residents who want it off Okinawa entirely.

"Hatoyama said Wednesday that recent tensions in the Korean peninsula surrounding the sinking of a South Korean warship reminded him of the potential instability in Northeast Asia and drove home the importance of the U.S.-Japan security pact.

"'There was no choice but to keep the base on Okinawa,' he said.

[...]

"His three-way coalition was cut to two members over the weekend when a junior partner, the Social Democrats, withdrew after the prime minister expelled its leader Mizuho Fukushima, who rejected the Futenma decision, from the Cabinet."

Mentioned at the very end of the article is this little tidbit: "Hatoyama, the grandson of a prime minister who earned a Ph.D in engineering at Stanford University, was sometimes viewed as aloof and eccentric by the Japanese public, earning him the nickname 'alien.'"

I only posted about Hatoyama once in his brief eight-month tenure as Prime Minister, and that was about his kooky wife who believed, among other rather odd things, that she had been abducted by a UFO and visited Venus and knew Tom Cruise in a former incarnation- when he was Japanese. My post was also technically before Hatoyama became Prime Minister, but well...

2 comments:

  1. This does seem a dicey moment to be kicking U.S. troops out of Asia--or anywhere else for that matter. China would just love it. Of course, if all those troops lined up on our southern border, that would make a lot of Americans and Okanawans mighty happy!

    ReplyDelete