Junichiro Koizumi

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Junichiro Koizumi

Junichiro Koizumi (小泉 純一郎) (1942–) is Japan's former prime minister (26 April 2001 – 26 September 2006), a right-wing populist[1] and a Japanese nationalist. He is considered to have been the politician who has turned elitist Japanese politics into populist and nationalist tendencies.

Economically, he was a politician with a very strong neo-liberal inclination within the Liberal Democratic Party.

Diplomatically, Koizumi maintained a very pro-U.S. and neoconservative line similar to Tony Blair. He actively supported George Bush's War on Terror. He was also active in sending the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq and other foreign countries. This sparked the complaint that under his leadership, Japan violated Article 9 of its Constitution (a Constitution America help write), which states that Japan cannot use armed forces except in self-defense of its own soil. (To be fair, this provision is controversial in Japan itself, and other Second World War Axis-aligned belligerents, such as Germany and Italy, do not have this provision since they were allowed more freedom to write their own Constitutions.)

Koizumi is regarded as a politician who fundamentally changed the LDP. The LDP was a very elitist party, but its right-wing populist nature grew after Koizumi altered the views of the party. He turned the party's inclination toward nationalistic populism, which in turn resulted in a far-right nationalist politician Shinzō Abe and Yoshihide Suga becoming prime minister, who created the current political situation in Japan that dominated the LDP.