RealNews

Weakened Koizumi Suffers Poll Setback But Keeps Job

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s party suffered an embarrassing setback in a weekend upper house election that allows him to keep his job but weakens his ability to forge ahead with economic reforms. Koizumi, whose ruling coalition retained its majority in the parliamentary election on Sunday despite the poor showing of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), vowed on Monday to stick to his reform agenda and to continue Japan’s aid mission in Iraq. “I think it’s necessary for Japan to conduct activities that will be viewed positively … toward Iraq’s reconstruction,” Koizumi told a news conference. Japan has sent 550 non-combat troops to held rebuild Iraq and pledged $5 billion in aid. Koizumi also indicated he would reshuffle his cabinet in September but gave no clues on what the changes might be.Full Story

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