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Wednesday, 2nd June 2010
In Events In Japan,

Japanese PM steps down over base scandal

Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama has announced he is to resign following the Okinawa base decision, which saw him go back on a key election pledge.

In the run up to being elected, Hatoyama promised to move a controversial US military base off the island, which garnered favour among locals opposed to the location of the community.

However, following pressure from Washington for Japan to adhere to the rules of a previous deal on the base made in 2006, he was forced to go back on his promise.

He also repeatedly put off making a final decision on the base, which saw his popularity take a nosedive among Japanese voters.

The country's next election is to be held in July. Hatoyama, 63, has been in office for eight months and was Japan's fourth prime minister in as many years.

Announcing his resignation, he apologised to his party for "causing enormous trouble".

Written by Kimberley Homer.