Why Prime Minister Hatoyama resigns abruptly? (2)

16:20, June 03, 2010      

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Prime Minster Hatoyama on May 28, last Wednesday, dismissed consumer affairs minter Mizuho Fukushima, who is the SDP leader, over her opposition to the government’s plan for the relocation of the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma within Okinawa Prefecture. And SDP left the tripartite coalition two days later, on Sunday, May 30.

In another development, concerning the so-called political funding, it is an issue referred mainly to the DPJ leader Hatoyama and Secretary General Ozawa, and the problems occurred before DPJ came into power. These thorny problems have since tormented and plagued the party. Ozawa stepped down from the top post in May 2009 after one of his state-funded secretaries was indicted…. Then, Hatoyama succeeded Ozawa as Party leader following Ozawa’s resignation on May 11, 2009.

A month later, Hatayama confessed at a press conference a fund management body’s alleged false reporting of political funds, but acknowledged it is uncertain that a conclusion can be reached by then. Yukio Hatoyama nevertheless apologized, and delegated responsibilities to his aides.

After having assumed premiership for a month, Hatoyama was suspected of having received fund aid secretly from his mother. And Yokio Hatoyama then said he had completed procedures to pay gift tax of about 600 million Japanese yen on 1.26 billion yen he received from his mother since 2002.

Moreover, at a press conference Hatoyama attended at Hotel Le Port Kojimachi on Dec. 24, 2009 in Tokyo, his former aids Keiji Katsuba and Daisuke Haga were indicted without arrest on charge of handling in false funding reports. This was the first time for the former aides of incumbent prime minister to be indicted in Japan.

With regard to the issue on Ozawa’s political funding, it is still under probe or investigation by the prosecution system.

To date, the approval rating for Hatoyama’s Cabinet has fallen below the 20 percent line for the first time in Kyodo News polls, and the Liberal Democrats currently have more supporters tan DPJ does. As an election for the Upper House of parliament is slated for July 11, the latest Japanese polls show that DPJ would not only fail to win more than half the Senate seats but could suffer a disastrous defeat.

With the resignation of Hatoyama, Finance Minister Naoto Ken, who is also deputy prime minister, is reviewed as the candidate. Kan, 63, after meeting with Hatoyama on Wednesday afternoon, told reporters that he had decided to run in the DPJ’s leadership election. But his opponents say that he lacks freshness and could hardly lead the DPJ to win the imminent election. So, Seiji Maehara, minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism of state for Okinawa and northern territories affairs, and other political figures are also popular contestants.

By People's Daily Online and contributed by PD resident reporter in Japan Yu Qing

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