Aug 15, 2001

Compromise visit could dilute 'Koizumi effect'

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s decision Monday to bring forward his controversial visit to Yasukuni Shrine may have saved face for opponents at home and abroad to a certain degree. But the move may damage his public image as a colorful leader who keeps his ...

Jun 29, 2001

Foes waiting in wings for Koizumi

Ace pitcher Junichiro Koizumi does not throw curveballs. Two months into his tricky job on the nation’s political mound of Nagata-cho — where even supposed teammates may be plotting against him — he continues throwing straight fastballs only. That is how Nobuteru Ishihara, state ...

Jun 9, 2001

Koizumi's reform foes entrenched

With Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi firing off a barrage of reform proposals aimed at turning the ailing economy around, his foes, including fellow Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers and bureaucrats keen to protect vested interests, are drawing battle lines. But observers say Koizumi, backed by ...

May 24, 2001

Koizumi must deliver before hoopla fades

Staff writers Reformist Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi seems to know too well that what counts is his image. And his image-conscious political style may be doing the trick as ordinary citizens, weary after a decade of economic and social doldrums, are starting to see ...

Apr 28, 2001

Opinions split on Tanaka promotion

While Junichiro Koizumi’s appointment of Makiko Tanaka as foreign minister took the nation by surprise, some experts warn she could be a mixed blessing for the new prime minister despite her strong popular appeal. The sharp-tongued Tanaka, daughter of late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, ...

Apr 21, 2001

Contorted system spells short-term leaders

Unless one is a political analyst or blessed with an excellent memory, it is close to impossible to correctly rattle off the names of Japan’s prime ministers since the late 1980s. There have simply been too many in that time. Whoever wins Tuesday’s election ...

Apr 5, 2001

Ex-Prime Minister Hashimoto top candidate to replace Mori

The Liberal Democratic Party’s factional interests appear to have put former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto into pole position in the race to find a successor to Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori. Hashimoto came under the spotlight after LDP power broker Hiromu Nonaka reportedly said Tuesday ...

Mar 16, 2001

Stock market crisis may prolong Mori's tenure

Speculation is growing that Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori may remain in his post beyond April, partly because of the recent decline in share prices and the confusion over just who would succeed the unpopular leader. LDP policy chief Shizuka Kamei insists the intraparty vote ...

Mar 14, 2001

Nonaka tipped to lead LDP without rocking party boat

With Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori’s resignation imminent, observers predict his most likely successor may be ruling party heavyweight Hiromu Nonaka, a man many say is unlikely to pull the nation out of its current political and economic quagmire. Although Nonaka has repeatedly denied he ...