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PacNet #30 – Back to Earth for Mr. Koizumi – and the Alliance

Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro took a beating in last weekend’s Upper House elections. While his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lost seats, the real blow seems to be the prime minister’s loss of rapport with voters. The magic is gone, and that means his leverage within the party is shrinking. The election results reflect domestic political issues, but the changing balance of power within the LDP and among Japanese political parties could impact the U.S.-Japan relationship over the long term.