With more than a full year in his tenure as the prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi is rapidly turning into a lame duck. Since the Postal Reform Bill passed the Lower House, Koizumi has been openly hinting at the option of resigning and dissolving the Diet if the bill is voted down in the Upper House. Such a move will certainly trigger chaos in Japanese politics. Even if the Postal Reform Bill narrowly passes, Koizumi’s political capital will be mostly gone, which will leave Koizumi in a lame duck status with very little political leverage. This predicament should be a major source of concern for Washington.
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