Behind Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s stalling on the future of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture seems to lie a long-held wish to reduce the presence of U.S. forces in Japan, as well as the determination of his former boss, Ichiro Ozawa, to keep a grip on the Diet.

Hatoyama, president of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, has put on hold a decision on the Futenma air station’s relocation following a threat by Mizuho Fukushima, leader of the Social Democratic Party, a junior partner in the ruling coalition, to leave the government if the DPJ goes ahead and moves the base within the prefecture under an existing Japan-U.S. deal.

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