Last Stand

Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is used to making other politicians unhappy. But even he seemed shaken when his longtime supporter Mikio Aoki took the floor of the Diet last Tuesday and added his voice to the growing dissension over the Prime Minister's latest round of banking reform proposals. In a withering attack, he accused Koizumi's new finance chief Heizo Takenaka of being a loose cannon, an unelected and unaccountable radical operating outside the system. And he finished with a direct salvo against the man he used to defend, telling Koizumi, "What is lacking most is leadership in coping with economic...

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