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What does Prime Minister Taro Aso have in common with his immediate predecessors — Junichiro Koizumi, Shinzo Abe and Yasuo Fukuda? Each is either a son or a grandson of a well-known politician of the past.

And they are not alone. There are a number of lawmakers in the Diet who have “inherited” their posts from their fathers. Although this may give the impression that Japan has long been ruled by political thoroughbreds, there has been a mounting call from citizens to abolish or at least place some restrictions on “hereditary” succession as the Japanese political landscape moves deeper into a state of stagnation.

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