Koizumi's Next Act

By framing Japan's Sept. 11 parliamentary election as a referendum on his postal-privatization plan and outmaneuvering his rivals with dextrous political campaigning, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has scored his greatest victory, helping the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to its biggest majority since 1986. The encore, however, could prove trickier. Koizumi's postal-reform bill, aimed at breaking Japan's $3 trillion postal service into four separate companies by 2017, will be re-submitted at a special Diet session this week and is all but guaranteed to pass. His plans beyond that are hazy. Koizumi has promised to step down when his term as...

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