Restaurant staff, 30
Koizumi should have behaved better. He’s been gossiped about a lot, for example, over Yasukuni Shrine. He did get young Japanese people more interested in politics though.
When I think of Koizumi, I think of the time he said “Men become weak when women cry.” It was a bit sexist. But I think Koizumi did more good things for our country than bad.
I remember seeing Bush and Koizumi shaking hands and laughing. That was upsetting because I think Japanese youths accept it without really knowing much about Bush or American politics.
Office worker, 34
I have no fond memories of Koizumi and I don’t think he did anything good for Japan. My strongest memory of him is how he worsened Japan’s relationship with the rest of Asia over Yasukuni Shrine.
Koizumi could communicate well with other world leaders. I think that’s one of the best things about him, though he didn’t listen to Japanese people’s concerns enough, like over the post office.
The biggest memory I have is of him acting like a goof and acting like Elvis with Bush on his farewell tour. He decided to have one last fling with Bush and dropped his role as leader for a minute.
I’ll remember Koizumi for getting young people more interested in politics, but a strong negative memory will be his sending Japanese troops to Iraq. I don’t think it was a just war.