Ending a turbulent eight months in office, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Wednesday he will step down to take the blame for his Cabinet's plunging approval rate, brought on by funds scandals and the row over relocating a U.S. base in Okinawa.And he's taking Ozawa Ichirou (I. Ozawa; Sec Gen of the party and political kingmaker) with him.
Not a single tear was shed on this author's part at the news.
Here are other English-language sources on what went down:
Ozawa comments, before the door got slammed on his backside as well.
Oppos calls for a general election. Not going to happen, but nice try.
The BBC version of the resignation announcement.
follow-up report from Kyoudou via the AP, including Ozawa's statement of resignation.
First glance at what is to come is that Kan Naoto (N. Kan; DPM and Minister of Finance; career populist politician) will get the call to form a new Democratic Party of Japan-led naikaku (Cabinet), which would mean nothing really meaningful changes except the top unless he were to bring back out his more nationalist former-self from back when he wrote "Dai-jin" ("Government Minister"; lang. Japanese; pub. Iwanami Shoten, 1998)... but there is always a possibility that something good will come of this. They could go back to letting Maehara Seiji (S. Maehara) run things. He has been "pigeon-holed" in the Land Ministry portfolio and while he also has the Northern Territories and Okinawa portfolio, he's been cut out of most of the matters problematic to both issues there. Getting him back in charge, or at least with the Defense or Foreign portfolios, would be a step toward government-by-ability by the DPJ... yeah, I know, faint hope. Most of the rest of the possible candidates are even weaker tea than N. Kan, so sadly no hope there.
Meanwhile, in the depths of deepest, darkest Opposition-land...
((sounds of further infighting))
... um, can you get back to us when we have *a political party* again?
The pigeon references are intentional: the family name "Hatoyama" means "Pigeon Mountain". At least the first part proved apt.