Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama announced Wednesday at a general assembly of his Democratic Party of Japan that he would step down as premier. Mr. Hatoyama also asked Ichiro Ozawa, the powerful secretary general of the party, to resign over his funding scandals. Mr. Hatoyama said Mr. Ozawa accepted his request. Mr. Hatoyamas resignation comes amid a steady decline in approval ratings for his cabinet and mounting calls for him to step down within the Democratic Party of Japan, especially those members who are to contest an upcoming upper house election in July. Mr. Hatoyamas flip-flop on the issue of the U.S. military presence on Okinawa, a Japanese southern island, helped erode his popularity, analysts said. Before last years election, Mr. Hatoyama told Okinawans repeatedly that he would not let another US military base be built on the island, but last week his government agreed to a U.S. request to relocate a base on Okinawa to a less-populated area of the island despite local opposition. The Social Democratic Party, a small leftist party, decided to bolt from the three-party governing coalition Sunday after Mr. Hatoyama was unable to deliver on his campaign promise. The premier on Friday dismissed Mizuho Fukushima, the SDP leader, as minister of consumer affairs and gender equality after she refused to approve an agreement over the relocation of the U.S. base.