The Play's the Thing

Junichiro Koizumi is a master illusionist. Playing the media better than any of his predecessors, he has managed to create the widespread impression that voters will have chosen reform if they return him and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) candidates supporting his favorite project to the Diet next Sunday. He insists that this plan—privatizing postal savings—is the sole issue deserving of debate, and he refuses to be drawn out on other subjects that seem to deserve more urgent attention.

True privatization of what is in effect the world's largest bank is unthinkable. The savings deposits held by Japan...

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