The coalition government of the Democratic Party of Japan, the Social Democratic Party and the New People’s Party have put off until next year a decision on the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in the central part of Okinawa Island. The government will seek possible alternatives to relocating the base to Henoko — the site in the northern part of the island that Japan and the United States agreed on in 2006.

The decision Tuesday is certain to further irritate the U.S., which regards the 2006 accord as “the only feasible measure” and has called for resolving the Futenma issue by the end of this year. In a November meeting in Tokyo, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed to resolve the issue sooner rather than later. At that time, Mr. Hatoyama reportedly said to Mr. Obama, “Trust me.” Tuesday’s decision will heighten the U.S.’s reservations about Mr. Hatoyama.

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