The Decline and Fall of Yukio Hatoyama
Who will replace the Japanese prime minister?
The Weekly Standard http://assets.weeklystandard.com.s3.amazonaws.com/tws15/images/logo-large.pngThe Weekly Standard 2010 Washington, DC Politics 2010-06-02 http://www.weeklystandard.com/the-decline-and-fall-of-yukio-hatoyama/article/459807 2010-06-02T14:10 2010-06-02T14:10 The Decline and Fall of Yukio Hatoyama Eight months ago, Japan's Yukio Hatoyama was a star. His leftist Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) had stormed to electoral victory, ousting a conservative party that had governed almost uninterrupted since the 1950s. Yesterday, he resigned after a massive collapse in popularity. It's true that Japanese prime ministers tend to have short tenures and resign when they lose public or party confidence. (In fact, Hatoyama is the fourth Prime Minister to resign in the last four years.) What is remarkable, however, is just how quickly the DPJ's popularity collapsed after such a historic victory. The media is reporting that this resignation was precipitated by Hatoyama's broken campaign promise to remove the U.S. air base at Futenma. This is true in the sense that the Futenma issue caused the Social Democratic Party to leave Hatoyama's coalition and caused a public outcry. But in reality, it was merely the final straw in a long line of failures. Long before the Futenma issue blew up, the government's approval ratings were in free fall over corruption in the DPJ and massive increases in government stimulus spending. These issue had been eating away at Hatoyama's popularity for months, and the Futenma issue merely broke the camel's back. Adam Brickley http://cdn.weeklystandard.biz/cache/280x280-c53b65575fb80146a8f115ab46e26fc3.jpg