Page last updated at 23:28 GMT, Friday, 14 May 2010 00:28 UK

Shirts worn by Japan PM Yukio Hatoyama draw derision

By Roland Buerk
BBC News, Tokyo

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama eats noodles in a many-coloured shirt, 4 April
Yukio Hatoyama's barbecue shirt raised eyebrows...

Japan's Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has been seeing his poll ratings tumble amid criticism of his leadership - and his fashion sense.

Reporters pounced on a checked shirt he wore to meet members of the public at a barbecue at his official residence.

With one sleeve yellow, the other blue, a red front, purple back and green cuffs, it was certainly eye-catching.

Fashion designer Don Konishi wrote in a national magazine: "Is anyone able to stop him wearing such a thing?"

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama visits Okinawa, 4 May
...while his Okinawa shirt raised hackles

The experiences of Mr Hatoyama suggest a fellow prime minister just settling into office, the UK's David Cameron, would do well not to neglect his personal appearance.

Widespread derision over Mr Hatoyama's dress sense may seem trivial but it is another sign of Japan's growing disillusionment with their leader.

He has struggled to fulfil a campaign promise to try to move an unpopular US military base away from Okinawa.

Earlier this month he visited the island to admit the US marines would have to stay.

He was wearing a garish yellow shirt, the colour adopted by local protesters, infuriated at his back-tracking on the pledge.

But the most mockery has been reserved for another of Mr Hatoyama's outfits: a white shirt printed with red hearts which he teamed with a pink blazer.

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