Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Tuesday he will work hard to win over Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers who oppose his policies as he gears up for the party’s presidential election on Sept. 20.
“I do not make a distinction between enemies and friends,” Koizumi told members of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai). “What’s important is to increase the number of people who will cooperate with me even if they oppose my policies.” Koizumi made the remarks as his LDP opponents failed to rally behind a single election foe.
Koizumi is believed to be dangling a carrot in front of anti-Koizumi forces by implying that their support in the election may be rewarded with posts in a Cabinet he would reform after a victory.
He reiterated his policy pledges in the presidential race: privatizing postal services and public expressway operators, and transferring financial resources and administrative authority to local governments.
“If I am re-elected in September, my reform drive will accelerate,” Koizumi said, repeating that he will not increase public works spending to prop up the economy.
“Some people are calling for a big government spending . . . but stock prices are showing signs of recovery even though we have cut public works spending. The conventional belief that public works leads to higher stock prices is changing.”