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Inside Japanese politics

20 years after Koizumi: How Japanese politics were restructured

PM managed tight inner-circle rivalries fortifying strong central leadership

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi decided to dissolve the House of Representatives in 2005 in order to realize his reform of postal privatization. (Nikkei montage/Reuters/Kyodo)

TOKYO -- It will soon be 20 years since the cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was inaugurated on April 26, 2001. In office for five years and five months, Koizumi is known for bringing about a major shift in the management of Japan's government, from Liberal Democratic Party factional dynamics to leadership by the prime minister.

In the prime minister's office, Koizumi managed to have the members of his inner circle compete fiercely with each other while at the same time uniting them despite their tense relationships.

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