Who misses Koizumi more, the Japanese people or the foreign press?

This week's Economist and today's FT both carry articles discussing the shadow cast by former Prime Minister Koizumi over the Upper House elections — and over his hapless and, according to Mr. Koizumi, kawaiso successor.I have no doubt that there are segments of public opinion and sections of the LDP that would be glad to …

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Meet the new daijin, same as the old daijin

On Friday morning, Prime Minister Abe summoned forty-eight-year-old Akagi Norihiko to Kantei and requested that Akagi serve as Matsuoka Toshikatsu's successor at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF). Akagi, a Tokyo University graduate, MAFF old boy (OB), and grandson of an agriculture minister in the cabinet of Abe's grandfather Kishi, was first elected …

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Change the LDP, change Japan — now more than ever

David Pilling, the FT's Japan correspondent, indirectly responds to a point I made earlier this week when discussing Matsuoka's suicide in an op-ed entitled "No way back to old Japan" (subscription required).As the title suggests, he argues that Matsuoka's suicide actually marks the death throes of the old political system:The postwar system that is now …

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