Land Use Issue Brings Down Japanese Premier

After backing down on a campaign promise to remove a U.S. military installation from the prefecture of Okinawa, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has been forced to resign.
June 3, 2010, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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The promise was a major part of his successful election last year, and protests were sparked when he went back on the base removal.

"Since taking office in September, he had come to be seen as an indecisive leader. This image was reinforced by his wavering and eventual backtracking on the base issue, which set off huge demonstrations on Okinawa and drove his approval ratings below 25 percent.

Calls had been rising within his Democratic Party for him to step aside before elections on July 11 that are seen as a referendum on the party's first year in power."

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Published on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 in The New York Times
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