Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told his compatriots that he would be unable to relocate the Futenma U.S. marine base, going back on his main pledge during his electoral campaign.

Hatoyama was elected in September 2009 for his commitment to review Japan-U.S. relations and in particular to move out the 20 000 Marines stationed on the Island of Okinawa. He acknowledges having failed to weigh all the U.S. logistical requirements. He is expected to make a recommendation to the Pentagon for the withdrawal or relocation of various services, but was unable to come up with satisfactory arrangements for other services.

This about-face didn’t go down well with public opinion. The latest polls show his popularity has plunged. His party is mulling his forced resignation before the elections for the Japanese Senate in July.