Reversal on Futenma Promise Could Have Political Cost for Hatoyama


David Allen
Stars and Stripes at
May 7, 2010

Yukio Hatoyama’s future as Japan’s prime minister could be cut short after he admitted Tuesday that his campaign promise to move all U.S. Marine Corps air operations off Okinawa was ill conceived.

Political analysts say Hatoyama’s inability to “relieve the burden of Okinawa,” which hosts the bulk of the U.S. military in the country, makes him appear weak and could lead to his resignation.

He has yet to announce which of several alternatives he will recommend for shifting Marine air operations on Okinawa once Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is closed. But there have been calls for his resignation, some from his own party, if he fails to produce a favorable plan.

To read David Allen’s analysis at, click here.


Additional reporting on this issue can be found at the links below:

Japan Mayors Rebuff PM Hatoyama’s Okinawa Alternatives  BBC News, May 7, 2010

Island Mayors Rebuff Hatoyama   The Japan Times, May 7, 2010

Japanese PM Plans Second Trip to Okinawa to Brief Residents on U.S. Base Relocation Plan Xinhuan,  May 7, 2010

Futenma Farce   The Economist,  May 6, 2010

Hatoyama Blasted for U-turn   The Straits Times, May 6, 2010

Japanese PM’s Reversal on US Base May Have Political Cost   Voice of America, May 5, 2010