Tough Love

Two weeks ahead of a crucial election, Junichiro Koizumi stands on a stage in Tokyo's bustling Ginza shopping district before a crowd of 3,500. Despite the afternoon's oven-like 35C heat, Japan's Prime Minister wears the white gloves favored by old-time politicians on the stump. But it's his only nod to tradition: nothing about his speech is typical of a Japanese politician seeking votes. "I will carry out reforms that no other parties have dared to touch," Koizumi shouts, the wind whipping his famous locks, helicopters with TV crews whirring overhead. "We will march onward knowing we must better our future, though...

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