Koizumi, Junichiro

Koizumi, Junichiro

(jo͝onē`chērō kōē`zo͞omē), 1942–, Japanese political leader, b. Yokosuka. From a political family, he studied economics at Keio Univ. (grad. 1967). He entered politics in 1970 as a member of the Liberal Democratic partyLiberal Democratic party
(LDP), Japanese political party. It began as the conservative Liberal party, which, under Shigeru Yoshida, became the dominant political force in Japan following World War II. In 1955 the Liberals merged with the newly created Democratic party.
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 (LDP), and two years later was elected to the Diet. Koizumi served as minister of health and welfare in 1988 and from 1996 to 1997. As the leader of a grassroots element of the LDP, with a reputation as a rebel fighting against the party's entrenched conservative leadership, he was elected party president in 2001 and shortly thereafter succeeded Yoshiro MoriMori, Yoshiri,
1937–, Japanese politician, prime minister of Japan (2000–2001), b. Neagari. Born into a political family in rural Ishikawa prefecture and educated at Waseda Univ., he was a newspaper reporter before his first election to the Diet in 1969.
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 as prime minister. A colorful figure, he pledged to lift Japan from its economic malaise, revise its constitution, privatize government-owned businesses, modernize its political system, improve relations with its Asian neighbors, and eliminate factionalism from the LDP. Achieving those goals proved difficult, however, as reform was resisted by the entrenched bureaucracy and by LDP factions that would be affected by reform, and Koizumi's government soon came largely to resemble those of his predecessors. He did ultimately achieve cuts in public spending and make progress in deregulation; he also made a landmark visit to North Korea in 2002, which led to the establishment of diplomatic relations. Defeat of his postal privatization plan in 2005, in part by LDP Diet members, led to a snap election in which Koizumi secured a large majority in the lower house; the plan was subsequently passed. He retired as party president and prime minister in 2006. Following the FukushimaFukushima
, city (1990 pop. 277,528), capital of Fukushima prefecture, N Honshu, Japan, on the Kiso plain. A silk-textile center, it is a major commercial city of NE Japan, also producing cameras, automobiles, fruits, and bonsai trees.

Fukushima prefecture (1990 pop.
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 nuclear power plant disaster, he came to favor Japan's abandonment of nuclear energy and campaigned against nuclear power.
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