Hatoyama's approval ratings have plummeted during this face-off with the United States. Washington has pushed the prime minister up against the wall and, frankly, made him look weak and indecisive. The hardball strategy from Washington was clearly designed at first to change the opinion of the Japanese government. Now it seems as though Washington wants to change the Japanese government altogether. Some lawmakers in Hatoyama's government are calling on him to resign if he doesn't resolve the base issue by the end-of-May deadline.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up