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Is the Japanese prime minister right to resign?

05:51 UK time, Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has resigned, after just eight months in office, for breaking an election promise. Do you think he made the right decision?

Mr Hatoyama was forced out after failing to move an unpopular US military base away from the southern island of Okinawa.

The move comes as his Democratic Party of Japan (DJP) struggles to revive its chances in an election due in July.

The centre-left DPJ's election landslide last year ended half a century of conservative rule in Japan. Mr Hatoyama, 63, was Japan's fourth prime minister in four years.

Was Mr Hatoyama right to leave office? Are you in Japan? How will this affect the outcome of the mid-term elections? Will his resignation make a difference in Japan's future? Who do you think will succeed him as leader of the DPJ?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    I have new found respect for this man.

    I only wish British politicians would have such a sense of honour. Will Mr Cameron resign if he finds his election promises cannot be kept? I doubt it very much.

  • Comment number 2.

    It all depends on how important the people of Japan feel that moving the military base is.

    However, if they really do feel that strongly about the base it beggars belief that the Japanese Prime Minister did not possess enough leverage to get it moved.

    If its what the people & government of a sovereign nation want, who exactly is standing in their way?

  • Comment number 3.

    If our Prime Ministers had the same integrity we'd have a new one every week.

  • Comment number 4.

    Now that is honourable.

    I hope the outbreak is highly contagious.

  • Comment number 5.

    I salute the man! If all politicians were so principled this world would be a far better place!

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm skeptical. This might have more to do with reviving his party's chances in the July election than simply doing the right thing.

  • Comment number 7.


    I agree with most others, it was the honourable thing to do.

    Though, I note the article says he was 'forced out' so it may have been a case of "Resign, or we'll kick you out, which will be much less dignified". Still, benefit of the doubt. Well done.

    As an aside, (another person raised this point) I'm intrigued as to why the government with a mandate from the people did not have sufficient sovereign power to remove a foreign military base? I wonder what other powers are at work here.

  • Comment number 8.

    Mr. Hatoyama is obviously a very decent and honourable man. By tradition Japanese culture encourages this type of behaviour. In the UK however, our senior politicians seem intent on clinging on to office when they should leave. Take payments and expenses they they truthfully know should not be accepted. Make election promises and then promptly backtrack. Even in the last week where David Laws took payment he knew he should not have taken, he did. Nor did he come clean when the expenses scandal originally broke. No one is remotely interested in his private life. Yet Cameron, Clegg, and many others portray the affair as a great pity for Laws. The electorate in the UK allow this behaviour to happen. We do not hold our officials more accountable. In any other walk of life there would be a prosecution for fraud. Maybe we can learn much from Japan

  • Comment number 9.

    I've never heard of this person, but I applaud his actions.
    Japan has a history of honourable behaviour.
    In the UK we are too used to a NuLiebour philosophy of zero consequences for politician's broken promises. Even in those rare cases where people are shamed into resigning for their actions, they are back before long (e.g. Mandy).
    I'd have loved to see Gordon Brown resign for breaking his promise on the EU referendum, or Tony Bliar for saying "trust me there are WMD in Iraq" when there weren't.

  • Comment number 10.

    I suspect there is a bit more to his resignation than just the failure to remove the base. I suspect it has more to do with the forthcoming election in July and internal politics within his party.
    Although it seems honourable, if politicans in the UK resigned after every set back we would have 30 or 40 elections every year.

  • Comment number 11.


    By implication of the honour system the Japanese PM had no option except resign.
    To fail to keep ones word in Japan is an insult to one’s self and to the integrity of others who trusted you.
    It is a sad reflection that our society and politicians are in comparison morally bent self centred and ethically immature.

  • Comment number 12.

    If you understand Japanese culture, his resignation is normal. Respect and honour are buried deep in their culture, something our politicians have cast aside in favour of a "shut up, we know better" attitude. Maybe we should adopt the same approach and punish our politicians for failing to carry out electoral promises, now that would be true democracy!

  • Comment number 13.

    Politics in a democracy is all about making compromises with other parties (national and international level). One cannot expect a politician to fulfill all the election promises; it would not be a democracy if all the points in a manifesto would be blindly executed with any dialogue and debate. That would just be a 4 or 5 year long dictatorship.

    However if the removal of the American base was a key point in the program of Mr. Hatoyama then his decision is justifiable. Likewise there have been several important issues in the UK over the last where I think a politician should have stood down.

  • Comment number 14.

    The important question is, who and therefore what is the alternative to Hatoyama, and does this bring a future that is detrimental of advantageous to Japan? If resigning over a relatively small issue of honour allows a less competent individual or party to take power, the man is not serving his country properly. Neither I, nor the vast majority of people commenting here have got the foggiest clue as to the answer to this question, perhaps some Japanese readers have?

  • Comment number 15.

    Being Japanese he probably thought it be the honourable thing to do...and yet will Japan be better off for his decision...

  • Comment number 16.

    6. At 09:47am on 02 Jun 2010, 23 years 10 months and counting wrote:

    I'm skeptical. This might have more to do with reviving his party's chances in the July election than simply doing the right thing.

    ----------------------------

    Of course it is but thats not a bad thing. Wouldnt you have more respect for the man who acknowledges when he failed than one who tries to hide the truth? By resigning his failure no longer affects the party and instead shows they will try, and if they fail they will accept it.

    Well done to him

  • Comment number 17.

    10. At 09:58am on 02 Jun 2010, David wrote:
    if politicans in the UK resigned after every set back we would have 30 or 40 elections every year.


    Or better, more capable politicians.

  • Comment number 18.

    A politician with honour? Surely not......

    Get him over here, we have a job for him!

  • Comment number 19.

    The man has my respect.Forget the politics which suggests his party may lose a forthcoming election,this person has integrity.Ask the chap to come here and teach our bunch of losers the meaning of public service.

  • Comment number 20.

    At 09:56am on 02 Jun 2010, Mike from Brum wrote:
    I've never heard of this person, but I applaud his actions.
    Japan has a history of honourable behaviour.
    In the UK we are too used to a NuLiebour philosophy of zero consequences for politician's broken promises. Even in those rare cases where people are shamed into resigning for their actions, they are back before long (e.g. Mandy).
    I'd have loved to see Gordon Brown resign for breaking his promise on the EU referendum, or Tony Bliar for saying "trust me there are WMD in Iraq" when there weren't.

    *********************

    I know this is off topic but I feel quite strongly regarding your quote "Japan has a history of honourable behaviour". I really don't want to rake up the past but they didn't behave very honourably during WWII with regards to their treatment of POW's and the Chinese. If you're going to make historical references then please be accurate and mindful of those people who suffered and are still alive today.

  • Comment number 21.

    How annoying! I've only just learned how to pronounce his name, and now he's leaving!

    If our prime minster broke a key election promise, we'd probably demand his resignation as well, so Hatoyama's decision is probably right. But Hatoyama's successor will be Japan's fifth prime minister in about four years. Why so much inconsistency?

  • Comment number 22.

    11. At 10:02am on 02 Jun 2010, true grit wrote:

    It is a sad reflection that our society and politicians are in comparison morally bent self centred and ethically immature


    ----

    On the other hand no western government has made a conscious decision to fish certain species of marine life into extinction, so it depends on how you define 'ethics' and 'morals' I suppose.

  • Comment number 23.

    If only we had even one politician in this country with the honour to stand down if he failed to deliver on a key election promise. Instead we get promises we know the politician has no intention of even trying to keep. And then they whinge that we don't trust them!

  • Comment number 24.

    I DON'T KNOW! I don't live in Japan, and I'm not a Japanese citizen. He does appear to be avery honourable gentleman. But if every politician who is unable to fulfil a pledge resigns, certainly in the UK there would be no one left - except none of our lot would go.

  • Comment number 25.

    Student tution fee, trident, amnesty for illigal immigrants, elected house of lords, joining Euro.
    I remember some promises like that to his voters by our deputy PM.
    Is the Japanese prime minister right to resign?
    I would love to see Nick Clegg's face when he would be answering this question.

  • Comment number 26.

    Since WWII - Japan has not been 'allowed' to have it's own armed forces?

    This 'removal' of this strategic American base, in question, was part of an election promise. Why? This is increasingly, a volatile area and Japan has in recent years felt threatened by North Korean missile exercises.

    However, you have to commend the Japanese Prime Minister for stepping down to keep his country's political waters clear before an election.

    If Gordon Brown had done the same in UK - we would not now have the 'nasty' party - who have yet to prove themselves otherwise? Let's hope - and fingers crossed? We are watching you, Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg?

  • Comment number 27.

    A sharp contrast to our own remarkably dishonourable collection of politicians!

    Perhaps we could invite him to run Britain?

  • Comment number 28.

    OOps-misread that! I see he was FORCED from office! Ignore that previous post of mine - so ill-informed!

  • Comment number 29.

    Yes, of course he was right to resign. He broke a promise and did not do what he said he'd do. If only our UK politicians were so morally upright, eh?

  • Comment number 30.

    It is about time that the agreement between the US and Japan is re-balanced to relect the geo-political situation in 21st century. Therefore it is about time that the bases went!

  • Comment number 31.

    At least the Japanese Prime Minister has done the right thing by resigning by not keeping his promise to make the unpopular US, military base move, there must have been a lot of public opposition to the base, this shows that what the Japanese elector wants counts, Japan will not be affected by the Prime Minister resigning after all they have had four Prime ministers in a very short period of time, how long would some Prime Ministers last in office in the UK, if they had to resign over government election promises

  • Comment number 32.

    Certainly there are some Japanese politicians who have a sense of honour. That is more than what can be said for our politicians. If none of them were prepared to resign over fiddled expenses, I am sure they would not even wince at broken promises.

  • Comment number 33.

    Presume this a debate topic, designed to attract comparison with British politics...on that basis:

    - Would agree with and respect a politician who resigned because they failed to delivery on a key manifesto promise, within a reasonable timescale...this country could do with that sort of person.

    - But, would not suggest PM's resign too freely...as has been pointed out, if ours went whenever they dropped a clanger, they'd need revolving doors on Number 10.

    AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD I WANT THE MEDIA TO SET CRITERIA AROUND WHAT SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT BE A REASON FOR POLITICIANS TO RESIGN....in the UK that would be devastating.

  • Comment number 34.

    25. At 10:46am on 02 Jun 2010, SherryShamsi wrote:
    Student tution fee, trident, amnesty for illigal immigrants, elected house of lords, joining Euro.
    I remember some promises like that to his voters by our deputy PM.
    Is the Japanese prime minister right to resign?
    I would love to see Nick Clegg's face when he would be answering this question.

    ----

    still not really on the same scale as lying to an entire nation in order to draw them into someone elses illegal war is it?

  • Comment number 35.

    At 09:56am on 02 Jun 2010, Mike from Brum wrote:
    ...
    Japan has a history of honourable behaviour.
    ...

    *********************

    I know this is off topic but I feel quite strongly regarding your quote "Japan has a history of honourable behaviour". I really don't want to rake up the past but they didn't behave very honourably during WWII with regards to their treatment of POW's and the Chinese. If you're going to make historical references then please be accurate and mindful of those people who suffered and are still alive today.

    ************************

    Off topic, maybe. But I think you were right to raise this. If anyone need to familiarise themselves google "comfort women" for one thing. Not a nice episode from Japanese history, but more alarmingly something which some Japanese officials still try to downplay rather than acknowledge. Not that Britain has a rosy innocent past obviously, and I do have enormous respect and admiration for the Japanese, but just thought it deserved some mention.

  • Comment number 36.

    "our senior politicians seem intent on........tak(ing) payments and expenses they they truthfully know should not be accepted"

    Well....they DO, yes. But then given that the vast majority of the UK population are also on the make, its a bit rich for them to play the "morality" card!

  • Comment number 37.

    I think on the face of it this is an example to career politicians the world over, not least of all here at home.
    But it does raise some other questions.

    1. Why is it that a prime minister of a sovereign nation with a mandate from the people unable to remove a foreign military power from its soil?

    2. Why is it that 8 months was a good timeframe for the removal of the base? It has been there for a long time and there are other national duties that I'm sure must be attended to as well. Could he not have taken a while longer?

    3. Were there other forces at work that we do not know about from within Japan or internationally with interests in contradiction to what the prime minister pledged to do?

    4. As it is a U.S. base and N/Korea has recently given cause for concern, was the U.S. unwilling to give up the base?

    I'd like to know more about some of these aspects too. Just seems odd a sovereign government cannot take charge over a foreign power within its own country.

  • Comment number 38.

    The Japanese have one thing the US and British politicians dont have or understand, honour.

    Maybe the world would be a better place if Tony Blair or Gordon Brown had honour. Sadly they do not.

    I wish Japan all the best in the future

  • Comment number 39.

    The resignation doesn't have much to do with Okinawa.


    More with incoming election in which the ruling party may be defeated because of a perception that Hatoyama's government has no answers to current economic predicament Japan has found itself in.

    ["IT'S ECONOMY, STUPID!"]

  • Comment number 40.

    I think the Japanese Prime Minister was following the leader.

  • Comment number 41.

    hatoyama is too naive to be prime minister of the country of this scale, who did not understand Realpolitik in the harsh geopolitical setting of the north east asia. he later acknowledged the necessity of deterrence of us forces for peace and stability of this region, but too late. we need japan-us security treaty and us forces to defend our country and national interest simply because of pacifist constitution imposed after the defeat of ww2.

  • Comment number 42.

    Yes he is right to resign, pit our lot don't usually do the same unless pushed.

  • Comment number 43.

    Shame Gordon Brown never resigned after "just eight months".

  • Comment number 44.

    "A Very rare man today, he could teach many around the world in power"

  • Comment number 45.

    I am deeply impressed. Imagine if the politicians in the western world stepped down ever time they could not fulfill a promise. The west would never have a government.
    Hatoyama's ratings had fallen because he backtracked on a pledge to his people to move the US Futenma Marine Air Station off Okinawa.
    His backtrack caused a split in his 3-party coalition, with the small Social Democrat party quitting the government entirely.
    The prime minister has stepped down in order to better his party's chances ahead of an election for the upper house of parliament expected on July 11.
    Hatoyama - tears welling in his eyes - said that both he and Ichiro Ozawa, the party secretary-general would both resign.
    What's next?
    Naoto Kan, the finance minister, is the frontrunner to replace Hatoyama.
    Hatoyama had taken office promising to
    - create a "more equal" relationship with the US,
    - move the marine base off the island, which hosts more than half the 47,000 US troops stationed under a 50-year-old security agreement.

  • Comment number 46.

    Gosh! Respect and honour in a politician!
    Clone him immediately!

  • Comment number 47.

    The Japanese still believe in doing the right thing, not just for oneself but more importantly what is best for society.

    Sadly since margret 'there is no such thing as society' thatcher that has gone and it is all about "me, me, me" and "I'm all right jack".

  • Comment number 48.

    Good for him.

    A pity not all politicians are so honest, House of Commons please take careful note.

  • Comment number 49.

    Hats off to the Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama for giving up his office. It is rare to see a minister or senator conscientiously giving up loaves of office attached to the chair although he/she is quick to owe moral responsibility. This incident takes me back to decades when the then Railway Minister of India (later PM) Lal Bahadur Shastri resigned when there was a rail accident. I think some sort of invisible crazy glue is applied on the seat. Just kidding. Excellence is rare.

  • Comment number 50.

    11# true grit very true

  • Comment number 51.

    The USA earned the right to put military bases in Japan because it won the war. Japan is the loser who had to pay their due.

    Moreover, Japanese hardly suffer anything else-- they never even apologize for their war crimes but deny ever commit such act in China or South Asia. They claimed that their actions in the 20years rioting was to bring liberation to the area....by bombing and killing people?

    If they had done what the German did (apologize sincerely to the Jewish) in the last 60 years, they would have earned their rightful status -- for now , they are still just the war criminals at the base, nothing better.

  • Comment number 52.

    It's a shame our politicians don't do this.

    Blair and Brown would have been out of office after 6 months if they did.

  • Comment number 53.

    Delirium wrote:
    On the other hand no western government has made a conscious decision to fish certain species of marine life into extinction, so it depends on how you define 'ethics' and 'morals' I suppose.


    I take it you've never heard of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, two thirds of European fishing stocks are now so overexploited that the population of our seas has collapsed in the last decade and many of our common species are expected to become extinct in the next thirty years.

  • Comment number 54.

    I wish Mr. Obama would resign, and we would get somebody who knows what they are doing here.

  • Comment number 55.

    Please remember the anti-US-Marine base campaign in Okinawa is systematically organized by secular progressive far-left political movement (Japan Communist Party and Socialist Party), largely intervened from outside of Okinawa, i.e., leftist movement in the main land Japan (Honshu). The silent majority of the Japanese actually accepts the REALITY of geopolitics in the far east, like it or not.

  • Comment number 56.

    If only Mr Brown had felt the same after failing to deliver a referendum on the European constitution (ooooh sorry, the treaty that was just a renamed version of the constitution). Or perhaps any of them after hiking taxes when promising to cut them, or even maybe one of them after sinking yet another British factory on the alter of 'international trade'

  • Comment number 57.

    Here is that greatest of rarities in politics .... an honourable politician ! I take my hat off to you Mr Hatoyama.

    Are you listening David Cameron .... and not forgetting Alex Salmond, seeing as I live in Scotland.

    Wow ! Was that a pig I saw flying past the window ?

  • Comment number 58.

    A sign of honour from a man with honour.
    Please forward to our incumbents. Sadly they will not understand.

  • Comment number 59.

    The prime minister did not fulfill one of his important election promise removing the huge US military base. He was right to resign.
    It looks like that the Japanese people feel very strongly that the next prime minister needs to integrate this election promise into his program if he wishes to be elected as a new prime minister.
    Democracy means that the politian carry out what the voters have been asked for.

  • Comment number 60.

    In an atmosphere where we all are considering all ills as perfect and absolute or reading all Truths as exactly opposite to act upon, there bound to be mistakes in our approaches, include that of our Most Honorable PM of Japan Mr. Yukio Hatoyama without leaving him as an exception, in giving a highest priority on a Subject or matter which is in-fact nonexistent to resign from his holding the Post of Prime- minister-ship; considering the current situation of opposition at home which is considered as very much against the Party in the background of our living in a midst of intense confusion all the time everywhere.

    Since it is emergency everywhere, we expected that Most Honorable Mr. Yukio Hatoyama shall consider doing of much wider consultation with High Personalities who are supporting him and who are known for delivering well to the Nation rather than running away from confronting his colleagues to fight this odd situation together than alone even to gather Public support for his change in view point, in view of the chance situation in the entire Globe more particularly within the continent. Therefore we are all wrong in not seeing an overall accurate picture of the entire Globe where nothing is normal now.

    (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA,PhD)



  • Comment number 61.

    thelevellers (13:28)

    Since you decide to give the now traditional half quote (you might want to find the full quote one day) you will, no doubt, be eager to tell us what you, as a member of society, have done for that society (which does not include anything you have been compelled or paid to do? Unless you are, like many who use that quote, using "society" as a euphemism for "someone else", which is what Thatcher was getting at, and why those who find the truth hurtful hate it.

    As one who agrees with the full quote, I have given my time and skills voluntarily to help those less well off than I, because I cannot say "society" should help them - I am part of society and that means I should help them.

  • Comment number 62.

    A semi honorable man. He should have gone ahead with his election promise of removal of US bases. I would like to know what external pressures were brought upon him. If, after these pressure were exerted, he felt he could not continue, the resignation is the honorable thing to do. I really cannot think of many (any) western politicians that would do this. From Obama and the immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq and scale down in Afghanistan to the unelected dynamic duo in the UK. I only hope the new Prime Minister of Japan with fulfill the wishes of the people and close the Okinawa bases.

  • Comment number 63.

    I can’t answer the question but it sure shows that there is great animosity towards the USA, which will be ignored of course.

  • Comment number 64.

    No one seems able to meet the expectations of the Japanese people.

  • Comment number 65.

    At last a politician i can respect. Albeit from another country. Here in South Africa, politicians at all levels of government are involved in corruption on a daily basis. More and more of these government people, who seemingly believe that taxpayers money is there to keep them in their lavish lifestyle, are exposed for taking or wasting taxpayers money, but not one is ever fired, apologises or resigns.

  • Comment number 66.

    I really hate to be the noodle boiling in the pot, but how many of you live here in Japan or actually know that much about it?

    If we are are talking about the past, let us please reflect on the sins of our own counties before we hurl stones.

    Japan is a country of age old culture, hate it or love it, it won't change. The subject here was about Hatoyama, he did not resign with honour, he was forced out because of dishonour, there is a difference. He employed corrupt politicians and let them stay. He is himself a billion yen tax evader, how sweet is success when you can pay to be elected?

    He has gone, we living in Japan rejoice.

  • Comment number 67.

    America is the dictator of the world and the base will stay no matter what the people of Okinawa or Japan say. The PM found himself to be irrelevant and decided that political suicide was preferable to living a lie. A new puppet must be elected!

  • Comment number 68.

    If only British politicians had Mr Hatoyama's sense of personal honour

  • Comment number 69.

    Re #41 Akiohasegawa wrote: remember the anti-US-Marine base campaign in Okinawa is systematically organized by secular progressive far-left political movement (Japan Communist Party and Socialist Party).
    [...]The silent majority of the Japanese actually accepts the REALITY of geopolitics in the far east, like it or not.



    We know, we know, but the leftist viscerally anti-American reactions on the Net will continue.


    For the 'useful idiots' don't care what happenes to Japanese people in case PRC or North Korea go completely bonkers.

    They only care whether they can besmirch U.S.

    [since they can't do anything else.]

  • Comment number 70.

    At 2:42pm on 02 Jun 2010, Donna wrote:
    "Moreover, Japanese hardly suffer anything else-- they never even apologize for their war crimes but deny ever commit such act in China or South Asia. They claimed that their actions in the 20years rioting was to bring liberation to the area....by bombing and killing people?"

    Excuse me madam, but the war ended 65 years ago, I just don't see the point in keeping a US base there, especially one that seems to bother the citizens of a sovereign nation such as Japan. It is their decision to make, not yours. Pardon me for saying this, but you almost sound like you want to punish the citizens of today for what their grandfathers have done decades ago. Not decent at all.

  • Comment number 71.

    At 09:56am on 02 Jun 2010, Mike from Brum wrote:
    I've never heard of this person, but I applaud his actions.
    Japan has a history of honourable behaviour.

    Maybe so, but the Japanese sense of honor it a bit quirky, judging by how it was applied in World War II. Ask anybody in East Asia who is not a member of the Yamato race. Ask them how much they enjoyed the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

  • Comment number 72.

    It seems this Hatoyama is running into some of the same things Obama is running into. Having a vision as to how to make things better, making promise to that end, and then getting into "power" only to say to yourself, "Oh, I see, so THAT'S how it really works" and then be left powerless to make good on your promises. I mean getting the US out of Japan doesn't serve the elite of Japan. Why pay for your own defense when the Yanks will do it for you? Be damned what actually happens on Okinawa and its citizens. Then you have American Militarist and their profits, the locals who depend on the base, and the Japanese officials who all benefit from that. Much like "changing the tone in Washington" this guy seems like an idiot now when you think about it.

  • Comment number 73.

    The Japanese do not have such lust for power as many of us, Europeans, unfortunately have, and their politicians do not hold on so tenaciously to their posts as European politicians often do. This is something for which I admire Japan. Hatoyama's resignation without any big scandal is a good example of how a responsible leader should behave if he is unable to fulfil his program. He went in order not to block the way to others who wish to do as much good as possible to their country. This is also an example of patriotism that means that the country's future is much more important than personal ambitions. I only wish politicians on the continent of Europe learned something from this example given by Hatoyama.

  • Comment number 74.

    We need more politicians like the Japanese PM!!! Most politicians here in the U.S. make tons of promises never intending to keep them when elected. The Republicans and Democrats would best be served by showing the content of their character like the Japanese PM. He should come here and run for office!!!

  • Comment number 75.

    GREAT to see Japanese holding their Politicians to Account. LYING and DECEPTION have become the norm in so-called Democracies with Politicians actually SMIRKING as they BLATANTLY LIE to the public.

    Time for PERJURY to be treated as the MAJOR CRIME it really is.

  • Comment number 76.

    Yes, I think that Japanese Prime Minister did the right and just thing and, resigned from office...

    (d)

  • Comment number 77.

    It is amazing that there are still societies in this world where leaders resign just because they could not deliver on their campaign promises. Pakistan could sure use some one like the Japanese prime minister.

    Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto promised a house to everyone more than four decades ago, this is his party's fourth stint in power and the promise is far far away from being fulfilled but never did a Bhutto go willingly.

  • Comment number 78.

    MilwaukeeRay wrote:

    At 09:56am on 02 Jun 2010, Mike from Brum wrote:
    I've never heard of this person, but I applaud his actions.
    Japan has a history of honourable behaviour.
    ......................................

    Maybe so, but the Japanese sense of honor it a bit quirky, judging by how it was applied in World War II. Ask anybody in East Asia who is not a member of the Yamato race. Ask them how much they enjoyed the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Compartmentalization of morality is hardly anything new to the mankind. All conquests are based on this concept and continue to this day unabated. Machiavelli codified it for the West in the sixteenth century. South Asia beat Europe by 2000 years when Chanakya wrote his 15 volumes collection on state craft.

  • Comment number 79.

    I have always thought the Japanese exercise a rather masochistic interpretation of honour, but that is still better than the lack of honour our own politicians have demonstrated in recent years. Not since MacMillan's resignation over the Profumo affair (40+ years ago?) have we seen a comparable act of honour. For example, Tony Blair could have resigned many times for worse reasons but he didn't. Well done, Yukio Hatoyama!

  • Comment number 80.

    If his resignation is over breaking an election pledge & simply that then he is a man of honour.

  • Comment number 81.

    He broke an election promise he has lost his commitment to those who voted for him. He should go. That is being honourable.
    Now that is a good idea for a democracy.
    Any more Japanese ideas for the 'Mother of Parliament'?

  • Comment number 82.

    What an honourable man. Like almost everyone else I can never see this particular trait catching on in this country.

    That said I am beginning to wonder if there was some other reason for his resignation which will only see light of day later on.

  • Comment number 83.

    Artur Freitas wrote:

    "I can’t answer the question but it sure shows that there is great animosity towards the USA, which will be ignored of course."

    No, it is only from a minority of the Japanese population, as a Japanese person previously posted.

  • Comment number 84.

    He win the election base on the promise of moving the base. Since he did no achieve it, he must resign. However, sadly he resign not for the broken promise but from pressure of his party. Politicians has no integrity.

    I also wonder what prevent them from moving the base. The people want it to go. Well, that is democracy working, the rich has much more say than the general public.

  • Comment number 85.

    Oguz Saltik wrote:

    "Excuse me madam, but the war ended 65 years ago, I just don't see the point in keeping a US base there, especially one that seems to bother the citizens of a sovereign nation such as Japan."

    No, it "seems" to bother mostly the people near the base on Okinawa.

    "It is their decision to make, not yours."

    Take your own advice. Besides, they have already made a decision.

    Also, the current main base is to be moved to a less populated part of the island.

  • Comment number 86.

    Japan's economy is dropping and the Prime Minister could not find any new solution to improve it, he did the next best thing, gave to those sitting on the other end of the fence and chiding him the driver's seat and steering, now show me your TOYOTA! Sayonara!

  • Comment number 87.

    At #69, powermeerkat wrote:

    (Quote) We know, we know, but the leftist viscerally anti-American reactions on the Net will continue.(/Quote)

    Copy. ;)

    (Quote)For the 'useful idiots' don't care what happenes to Japanese people in case PRC or North Korea go completely bonkers. They only care whether they can besmirch U.S.(/Quote)

    Case Scenario 1: US Forces retreat to the defense line to the middle of the Pacific, the vacuum arises in the North East Asia around the south region of Japan, then the North miscalculates ("Umm, it's easy to win,,") and war broke.

    Case Scenario 2: The geopolitical ambition of China is further induced as well after the retreat of US Forces, in association with former USSR Admiral Gorshkov-like naval capability built-up. The Whole Asia will be under total control of China. Just recall Asia is not dreamland EU!

    Thank you, gentleman. Akio

  • Comment number 88.

    To Donna and her assumption that Japan has never suffered I have to say this. As the first and only country to be bombed by an atomic bomb, killing outright over 144,000 sleeping men, women and children in the early hours of their morning in Hiroshima, and an additional 77,000 3 days days later in Nagasaki I fail to see your point. Don't forget those 10's of thousands who died of their injuries and the ones who even miles away developed cancer and died years later.

    You really should visit the War Museum in Hiroshima it will open your eyes to a suffering that I hope we never see again. I met a survivor, she had to endure 30 operations, stayed a prisoner in her own home for decades, ashamed of her awful facial scars. She died a few years ago, never having lived the life that she could have.

    I sincerely hope that you show as much enthusiasm about more recent events, like the systematic genocide in Rwanda, Dafur, Kosovo and going on as I type this in the Congo at this very minute. If all you want to do is harp on the past, I'd like to ask you exactly which part of this world you are from, just to make this whole thing more fair.

  • Comment number 89.


    Did Hatoyama have any other choice?

    He is a man of his words. Since he ate his words, he needs to go.

    Unlike many other power-crazy and recalcitrant political leaders, Hatoyama is a gentleman and he did what a gentleman would do.
    (vzc43)

  • Comment number 90.

    Well, yes he is right in resigning over his failure to fulfill the promise he made to Japanese back then a year ago. But the real culprit here or in my view the one should be held responsible altogether with him is the US for their persistent in keeping the base ignoring the cries of those disgruntled Japanese.

    Again, Obama and his administration used the same excuse the need for the base; the North Korea. Unfortunately, this was done in the expense of Hayotama's political career and Japanese people.

    What shocked me more is how coincidence it was as the the pressure mounting on Hayotama to remove the base, came the official report blaming the North Korea over the sinking of South Korea's ship months ago hence giving the US reason to solidify their decision.

  • Comment number 91.

    Ironically, RIGHT & WRONG in resigning applies more to Communists or Dictators. Right to resign could mean LIFE, and Wrong could mean DEATH.

    In Democracies, Right to resign means he was UN-ELECTABLE, and Wrong means he could've been Elected.

    Japan PM made the Right move to go before being Thrown-out. OH! How I wish we could hold to a standard as this.

  • Comment number 92.

    An honest politician?!

  • Comment number 93.

    Was Mr Hatoyama right to leave office? In his mind he was right. In his mind it was the honorable thing to do. Unfortunately, people with Mr. Hatoyama's honor and integrity are very rare.

  • Comment number 94.

    If an elected politician in a democratic government does not stick closely to his platform, and fails to put forth all the effort he can to fulfill his promises, he loses his legitimacy as a representative of the people.

    Sometimes not all promises can be kept, as reality and its restrictions tend to become more clear once one actually has a position of power. Then the question is the same as it should always be: was he reasonably able to fulfill his promise, and was what he did the best he could do under the circumstances?

    Now, if only our own politicians would resign when they repeatedly fail to do what we voted them in for. Especially in Canada, politicians have a bad history of going half way, of going the opposite way, and of forgetting about everything they proposed.

  • Comment number 95.

    Re #87 Akiohasegawa.

    Japan is already getting Aagis-equipped frigates and participates in AMD program. Australia (which also feels threatened by massive mimlitary build-up in PRC) is not sitting on her hands either.

    Here's hoping that comrades in Chinese Politbureau don't miscalculate.

    For they may, to use Adm. Yamamoto's momorable words:

    "Awake a Sleeping Giant".

  • Comment number 96.

    Accountable and honest .....
    Employ him for training courses for the UK MP's

  • Comment number 97.

    Good Grief! A politician with integrity, standards and principles; now there's a novelty, I thought they'd died out with the dinosaurs!

    Well done Mr Hatoyama, you could teach the politicians in this country a thing or two, I salute you.

  • Comment number 98.

    Mr Hatoyama had no choice but to leave. He laid all his cards on the gamble of closing the US base to get into power and failed to deliver. For his party to save face they needed a sacrificial lamb and who better then the man who bleeted about Okinawa.

  • Comment number 99.

    Yes. He has done the honourable thing. Let us hope many more leaders follow his example when they break election or manefesto pledges or promises.

    This truly would bring honour and respect back into politics.

  • Comment number 100.

    Yes, he was right to resign. He broke a promise.

    Funnily enough, I can think of several more PMs who have broken their election promises and are therefore guilty of fraudulent misrepresentation who should also resign and be behind bars.

 

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