Elections of a new Japanese prime minister and leader of the Democratic Party may be held Thursday after Yukio Hatoyama announced his resignation, Japanese NHK TV channel said. Hatoyama said he wanted to step down as Japan's prime minister over his government's failure to fulfill election promises concerning the relocation of a U.S. military base in Okinawa. Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa, who was involved in a money scandal, said he will also resign. Elections for a new party leader and prime minister are expected to be held Thursday. Hatoyama's popularity has fallen drastically due to scandals with Japan's number two man, Ozawa, after three of his current and former aides were charged with misappropriating funds. Just above one-third (36%) of Japanese supported Hatoyama's Democratic Party as of March, whereas in September 2009 the rating was over 70%. Hatoyama's decision provoked controversy both in political circles and among ordinary citizens around the country. Members of the Democratic Party accepted the resignation with regret and at the same time with understanding.