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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and his push for structural reform was picked by the editors at Kyodo News and its member newspapers as the year’s biggest domestic news story.

Since assuming power in April, the prime minister has enjoyed unprecedented levels of popularity, helping to push his Liberal Democratic Party to a major victory in a House of Councilors election in July. His attempts to pursue major policy reform as well as his personal style helped keep him in the headlines.

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