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.
Japan in 2005: Koizumi's Finest Hour
Nobuhiro Hiwatari is Professor of Political Economy at the University of Tokyo. He wishes to thank Greg Noble, Alisa Gaunder, Shin Fujihira, and Yves Tiberghien for invaluable suggestions and Maeda Kentaro for research assistance. All Japanese names in text appear family name first. Email: <email@example.com>.
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Nobuhiro Hiwatari; Japan in 2005: Koizumi's Finest Hour. Asian Survey 1 February 2006; 46 (1): 22–36. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/as.2006.46.1.22
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