Episode 83 – Reform Without Sanctuary

Koizumi Junichiro was quite possibly the most successful Prime Minister Japan has had for decades (and certainly the best dressed). This week, we’ll trace the rise of his career, his goals while in power, and the impact of his reforms on a Japanese state sometimes thought to be irreformable.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

A retrospective on Koizumi’s time in offiice by The Economist.

An NYT bio of Koizumi from the time of his selection as Prime Minister.

A bio by Time Magazine from the same period.

(Since he’s still alive, most of what’s available on Koizumi is from the tradition of political theory rather than history, and that’s a bit outside our purview).

A list of apologies made by Japan for behavior during the Second World War (yes it’s a link to Wikipedia, but no one else has aggregated them that I can find and they’re all sourced).

Episode one of Mudazumo Naki Kaikaku, should you be so inclined.

Images

Koizumi Matajiro, the Irezumi Minister and grandfather of Junichiro.
Koizumi Matajiro, the Irezumi Minister and grandfather of Junichiro.
Koizumi Junichiro and his father Koizumi Jun'ya. Date unknown.
Koizumi Junichiro and his father Koizumi Jun’ya. Date unknown.
On the surface this is just a picture of George W. Bush and Koizumi. In fact, it's kind of a revolution in Japanese politics; no other Japanese Prime Minister that I've seen would be photographed with the US President without a tie and in sunglasses. In fact, this is all part of the cultivated persona of the "maverick politician" that Koizumi has worked so hard to keep up.
On the surface this is just a picture of George W. Bush and Koizumi. In fact, it’s kind of a revolution in Japanese politics; no other Japanese Prime Minister that I’ve seen would be photographed with the US President without a tie and in sunglasses. In fact, this is all part of the cultivated persona of the “maverick politician” that Koizumi has worked so hard to keep up.
A campaign poster from Koizumi's last election in 2006. The text says something like "Accelerate Reforms".
A campaign poster from Koizumi’s last election in 2006. The text says something like “Accelerate Reforms”.
I will never get tired of this photo. Courtesy of Graceland.
I will never get tired of this photo. Courtesy of Graceland.
Just in case you thought I was kidding about the whole manga thing.
Just in case you thought I was kidding about the whole manga thing.
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