Key Events Leading to Hatoyama's Resignation
    2010-06-03 00:11:51     Xinhua      Web Editor: Jiang Aitao
 

The following is a chronology of major events that impacted Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's government, following a landslide victory that ousted the Liberals from almost 50 years of unbroken rule in Japan, but ultimately resulted in Hatoyama's resignation on Wednesday.

May 2006 -- Japan, U.S. agree on a road map for realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, featuring plan to move Futenma Air Station to coastal area within Okinawa Prefecture by 2014.

May 16, 2009 -- Yukio Hatoyama succeeds DPJ presidency from Ichiro Ozawa, who resigned after aide's indictment over fundraising scandal involving construction firm.

July 19 -- Hatoyama says in Okinawa he seeks to move Futenma Air Station at least outside the prefecture.

Aug. 30 -- DPJ wins House of Representatives election, capturing 308 of 480 seats in lower house.

Sept. 16 -- Hatoyama takes office as prime minister, launches coalition government with Social Democratic Party and People's New Party.

Nov. 13 -- Hatoyama asks U.S. President Barack Obama to trust him on Futenma at summit in Tokyo.

Dec. 22 -- Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa says May 10, 2010 would be the deadline for Japan to resolve the issue of where to relocate the Futemma Air Station.

Dec. 24 -- Ex-aides to Hatoyama indicted over political funds management body's false reporting of donations. Hatoyama not indicted.

Dec. 25 -- Hatoyama vows to resolve Futenma issue by end of May 2010.

Jan. 10, 2010 -- Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano concludes three-day trip to Okinawa, viewing potential relocation sites outside Okinawa for the U.S. Marine Corps' Futemma Air Station by air.

Jan. 14 -- Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama says Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa will continue his role and not be replaced, despite a spat of allegations regarding a controversial fund management body.

Jan. 28 -- Second bullet along with a threatening letter sent to the DPJ Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa's office.

Feb. 2 -- Government panel chaired by Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano, meets to discuss alternative sites outside Okinawa for the U.S. Marines' Futemma Air Station.

Feb. 3 -- Following two rounds of questioning by The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office over the alleged falsification of political funds reports, Ozawa likely not indicted

Feb. 4 -- DPJ lawmaker Tomohiro Ishikawa, two other Ozawa aides indicted, while Ozawa not indicted.

Feb. 8 -- Susumu Inamine's first day as mayor of Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture, tells local reporters he remains unequivocally opposed to plans to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps Futemma Air Station to his city.

Feb. 20 -- Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima tells Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano that relocating base in Okinawa will pose significant problems.

March 9 -- Experts panel acknowledges existence of secret nuclear pacts between Japan and the United States.

March 9 -- Japan's Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Seiji Maehara says Ozawa should contemplate stepping down in light of his funds scandal.

March 26 -- Japan's Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa tells Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima that the possibility of Japan sticking to an existing accord with Washington to relocate a U.S. military facility within Okinawa would be close to impossible.

March 26 -- Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama says he has no intention of making any changes to Cabinet and will not step down ahead of upper house elections.

March 26 -- Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) expands troop presence in Okinawa.

March 29 -- Japanese Prime Minister says his government was not legally bound to come up with a plan to relocate a U.S. Marine base in Okinawa Prefecture by the end of this month, reneging on his recent promises.

March 29 -- Prosecutors seek two year prison sentence for former state-paid secretary of Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. The aide is charged with falsifying political funds reports at Hatoyama's fund management body.

April 12 -- Hatoyama promises Obama in Washington to resolve Futenma issue by the end of May.

April 18 -- U.S President Barack Obama questions Hatoyama's ability to "follow through" on resolving the issue of Futenma.

April 21 -- Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano says central government plans to continue to pursue the idea of relocating Futenma in Okinawa to Tokunoshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture.

April 21 -- Hatoyama renews his commitment to resolving base issue by the end of May.

April 25 -- About 90,000 people rally in Okinawa, calling for Futenma to be moved outside prefecture.

April 27 -- Ozawa to be reinvestigated by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office following a committee saying he merits indictment over his fund management body's alleged false reporting of political funds.

April 27 -- Okinawa mayors and citizens opposed to the Futenma relocation idea stage a sit-in protest in front of the Diet members' buildings in Tokyo.

April 30 -- Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister, Seiji Maehara, says Ozawa staying on in his position could adversely affect this summer's upper house elections, two other senior ministers say same.

May 4 -- Hatoyama meets Okinawa Governor explains difficulties of moving Futenma out of Okinawa, asks for support.

May 6 -- Hatoyama says his pre-election vow to move the U.S. Marine Corps' Futemma Air Station "at least outside of Okinawa Prefecture," was more of an aspiration than a pledge.

May 7 -- Hatoyama asks in vein for the mayors of Tokunoshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture to accommodate some of the functions of a U.S. air base in Okinawa.

May 10 -- Hatoyama will likely fail to make good on a promise to resolve the row over the relocating Futenma by deadline, sources say.

May 11 -- Japan's Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa confirms reports Japanese government does not intend to stick to its self- imposed deadline of May 31 to resolve the base issue.

May 1 -- Tokyo prosecutors seek to question Ozawa again over alleged inaccurate reporting of political funds.

May 13 -- Hatoyama says dispute over Okinawa base will likely not be settled by his self imposed end-of-May deadline and efforts to resolve the impasse will continue in June and possibly beyond.

May 21 -- Prosecutors decide for 2nd time not to indict Ozawa, after citizens panel finds Ozawa merits indictment over funds scandal.

May 21 -- U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton visits Japan. Sources say she urged Hatoyama to resolve the base dispute expeditiously.

May 23 -- Hatoyama visits Okinawa again, tells Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima of plan to move Futenma to already planned area within Okinawa, offers apology.

May 24 -- Hatoyama says the importance of Japan's alliance with the U.S. was central to decision to relocate base within Okinawa Prefecture, despite his previous promises to the contrary.

May 26 -- Hatoyama says he believes ruling tripartite coalition will be maintained, despite Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Mizuho Fukushima, saying a departure from the Democratic Party of Japan-led (DPJ) bloc is possible.

May 27 -- Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano says joint statement likely to be issued by Japan and the United States will identify the coastal area of the Henoko district in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, as the relocation site for a U.S. Marine facility.

May 27 -- Hatoyama asks for support of prefectural governors in sharing Okinawa's burden of hosting U.S. forces in Japan.

May 28 -- Hatoyama says Japan and the U.S. have struck a fresh agreement on the relocation of a U.S. Marine base in Okinawa Prefecture.

May 28 -- SDP Chief Mizuho Fukushima asked by Hatoyama to resign from Cabinet.

May 30 -- SDP decides to leave coalition government.

May 31 -- Mizuho Fukushima, leader of the SDP says her party may support a no-confidence motion against the DPJ Cabinet.

June 1 -- Hatoyama reiterates he has no plans to quit, despite rising calls within his own party for him to step down.

June 2 -- Hatoyama announces resignation. Ozawa, all other DPJ executives decide to resign from party posts en masse.

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