Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pop-idol ex Prime Minister Koizumi rocks Japan... again!

"I believe I have served out my role as a Diet member by carrying out the grave responsibilities of prime minister," Koizumi said before a packed crowd of supporters at a meeting in his home district of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture. "I bet my entire life as prime minister and have realized that I can bet no more." Of his son, he said, "I might be called a silly parent, but I think he is more reliable than I was when I was 27 years old. I would appreciate it greatly if you could provide Shinjiro with your generous support."

More than a politician, he was a pop idol alike type of men but also a shrewd and ingenious politicians who jolted the establishment of a politically incorrect archipelago. Junichiro Koizumi has attracted exceptional media attention from the moment he was tapped for Japan's top job. He is still missed. Is he to remain out of sight or would he rather be the next Kuromaku of Nagatacho's fuzzy world?

(Copyright Jlk 2008)

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi formally announced on Saturday his intention to retire from politics, saying he will not run in an upcoming House of Representatives election. Koizumi, 66, also named his second son and secretary, 27-year-old Shinjiro Koizumi, as heir apparent to succeed him in his constituency, the Kanagawa No. 11 district of the lower house.

Koizumi did acknowledge criticism about giving his political base to his son, saying, "I too was criticized for being a third-generation politician." But he reminded his supporters that they "cheered for me and let me win elections."

Taking the podium from his father, the younger Koizumi said, "I've made up my mind to stand in the next House of Representatives election" from Yokosuka and Miura, his father's constituency.

"I will do my best so I can become a politician who can have you get high hopes on politics. I would like to ask you for your continued support," he said to a roaring crowd.

Shinjiro Koizumi has been working in his father's office as a secretary since last June following graduate studies at Columbia University in New York City and then a stint at a think tank in Washington close to Michael Green.

Although retiring as a lawmaker, Koizumi said he intends to continue "political activities," which he said include using his advisory post at a think tank specializing in international affairs. He said he wants to focus his energy on two policy areas -- making environmental protection and economic development work, and food safety.

As to why he made the announcement at this timing, Koizumi said, "After finishing my tenure as prime minister, frankly speaking, I also wanted to quit as a lawmaker immediately afterward...but I thought it would be problematic if I quit without serving out my term (as a lawmaker)."

Koizumi, currently in his 12th term, was first elected to the lower house in 1972 and subsequently reelected 11 times. Besides his premiership, he has been health minister and posts and telecommunications minister.

Serving as prime minister from April 2001 to September 2006, Koizumi promoted structural reforms including privatization of Japan's postal system as well as road-related public corporations. While in office, he made two trips to Pyongyang in September 2002 and May 2004 for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and secured the release of five Japanese abductees and their families. He led his ruling Liberal Democratic Party to a landslide victory in the 2005 House of Representatives election, focusing campaigning on the issue of postal privatization. Koizumi also remained a staunch supporter of the United States, Japan's closest security ally. When the United States went to war against Iraq in 2003, he quickly expressed support for the U.S.-led invasion. But Japan's diplomatic ties with China and South Korea soured during his term as he repeatedly visited the war-related Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. Critics say Koizumi's structural reform drive has widened income disparity as well as gaps between urban and rural areas.

Koizumi family in Japanese politics since the early 1900s.

Matajiro Koizumi (1865 - 1951) – Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, he was known as the "wild man" and "tattoo minister" because of a large dragon Japanese tattoo on his back.

Junya Koizumi (1904 - 1969) – Son-in-law of Matajiro, he built a kamikaze airfield in 1944 at Kaseda, Kagoshima. Served as Director General of the Japan Defense Agency.

Tetsugoro Iryo (1924/5 - 1945) – nephew of Junya and cousin of Junichiro Koizumi, died a kamikaze pilot.

Junichiro Koizumi (1942 - ) – son of Junya and grandson of Matajiro. Former Prime Minister of Japan.

Kayoko Miyamoto (1957? - ) – ex-wife of Junichiro Koizumi.
Kotaro Koizumi (1978 - ) – actor, eldest son of Junichiro.
Shinjiro Koizumi (1981? - ) – second son of Junichiro.
Yoshinaga Miyamoto (1982 - ) – has never met his father Junichiro.

*To have some more details about Junichiro Koizumi, click on the title of this thread.

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