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If Shinzo Abe wants to be remembered as more than a two-time failure as a Japanese leader, he should learn from the last one to achieve anything big: his political mentor, Junichiro Koizumi.

Yes, I know. Koizimi’s five-year premiership ended feebly in 2006. But early on, Koizumi’s signature slogan — “reform without sacred cows” — made him wildly popular with Japanese tired of years of drift and cronyism in Tokyo. In speeches and blog posts, Koizumi urged voters to pressure his own Liberal Democratic Party to support change.

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