Japan's Koizumi facing the final test of his long career

He was meant to be Japan's version of Margaret Thatcher, minus the handbag: a new style of leader with the plans to drag the Asian nation out of a decade of recession.

13th August, 2005

He was meant to be Japan's version of Margaret Thatcher, minus the handbag: a new style of leader with the plans to drag the Asian nation out of a decade of recession.

Junichiro Koizumi was a breath of fresh air compared to many of his predecessors when he became president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Japan's 87th prime minister in 2001.

He promised to introduce sweeping reforms to revitalise what is still the world's...

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