The year 2005 was Prime Minster Koizumi's finest hour. He engineered an extraordinary electoral landslide that destroyed opponents who had been gaining strength in response to his recalcitrance on Yasukuni Shrine visits and the confrontational handling of postal privatization, the centerpiece of his reforms. After Koizumi's electoral victory, he passed postal reform, made another visit to Yasukuni, and broke the “old” Liberal Democractic Party as he had promised five years ago, proving wrong those who had dismissed his reforms as illusionary and the promise as rhetorical. The stage is set for a new chapter in Japanese politics.

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