Koizumi's War

Here's one indication of how important Japanese feel the upcoming parliamentary elections are to the future of their country: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is being likened in the national press to Nobunaga Oda, a legendary medieval Japanese warlord who scored a key strategic victory in 1560 at the Battle of Okehazama, helping to unify the country after a century of civil war. Like Koizumi, goes the theory, Oda was a committed (and frequently ruthless) reformer, an uncommonly gifted politician, and a loner unafraid to go his own way. Though Koizumi has declared that he is "nowhere near Nobunaga" in stature, the...

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