Reform in Japan is like Lucy and the football. Each time Lucy persuades Charlie Brown that she won't yank the ball away as he runs to kick it, but at the last minute she always does. Gullible Charlie once again falls in the mud. It's much the same with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who plays Lucy to the beleaguered country's Charlie Brown. Koizumi convinced everyone during his election campaign in April 2001 that he would embark on drastic reforms "with no sacred cows." But his reforms are now mired in compromise and dealmaking, and the old bureaucracies remain firmly in...
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