Japan’s PM chair is vacant after Hatoyama resigns

Japan's Prime Minister has quit after just 8 months in the job. Yukio Hatoyama's resignation comes after he failed to remove a US marine base from the southern island of Okinawa.

It had been a key pledge to put Japan on a more equal footing with America, but opponents say this shows his inability to stand up to Washington.

Yukio Hatoyama was too unrealistic when pledged to say “No” to the US, Kosuke Takahashi, a Japanese journalist based in Tokyo, told RT.

“Japan still can’t say no to the US because Japan is still under the US nuclear umbrella. Its self-defence forces don’t have striking capability so Japan still needs the US as a military ally,” he explained.

“America sort of grew accustomed to telling the Japanese what to do. I think that Hatoyama was trying to put into that nationalist anger against the Americans,”
says Jeff Kingston, Director of Asian Studies at Temple University of Japan. “But what he did not count on is that more people are more worried about living in a dangerous neighborhood and want to maintain a good relationship with the United States.”

Watch the full interview with Jeff Kingston

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Hatoyama is the fourth Japanese Prime Minister to quit in as many years.