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Tuesday, 25th May 2010
In Events In Japan,

Hatoyama faces US base opposition

Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama has come under further fire following a decision to keep a controversial US military base on the southern island of Okinawa.

The criticism this time came from a political partner, leader of the Social Democrat party Mizuho Fukushima. She claimed that Hatoyama's decision broke a previously made deal between the ruling party, the Social Democrats and a third coalition party to close the existing base.

There is strong local opposition to the base, which residents of Okinawa claim causes high levels of noise and pollution.

During his election campaign, Hatoyama promised to remove the base off the island completely but has since made a U-turn following pressure from Washington, a decision which has seen his popularity in Japan drop to less than 20 per cent in recent opinion polls.

Immediately after his election, his popularity in the opinion polls stood at over 70 per cent.

Written by Kimberley Homer.

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