chapter  7
14 Pages

Koizumi Junichirō: a new kind of leadership?

Since his inauguration as prime minister in April 2001, Koizumi Junichirō and his leadership style have drawn a considerable amount of attention in the media as well as in scholarly work. Many have labeled Koizumi a maverick and see his leadership style as quite unique in the Japanese context. From a historical perspective, however, is this really the case? Has Koizumi’s leadership style significantly differed from other leaders considered in this book? In this chapter I explore this question and argue that when looking at Koizumi and his campaign for postal reform we can find many parallels to past leaders with legislative successes in political reform. In fact, an exploration of the case of Prime Minister Koizumi illustrates the more general applicability of the theory of leadership and reform developed in this book.