He was tearful when he made the announcement that he will 'step down', while also vowing to create a new DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan).
Hatoyama resigned after less than nine months in power since he won a landslide election in Sep 2009. His resignation is in between the steady decline in approval ratings for his cabinet and the calls for him to step down within the Democratic Party of Japan.
His popularity eroded on the issue of the US military presence on Okinawa. He had vowed that he would not let another US military base be built on the island, before last year's election. Last week, his government had agreed to US to relocate a base on Okinawa to a less-populated area of the island against the local opinion.