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.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.