A special session of Japan’s parliament has reconfirmed Junichiro Koizumi as prime minister. The vote was a formality following Koizumi´s landslide victory in the general election earlier this month, and the result – 340 deputies in favour, 114 against – is a re-affirmation of confidence the prime minister will welcome.
Koizumi can now roll up his sleeves and get to work on his programme of financial reforms, including privatisation of the postal system. Koizumi called the election for September 11 after rebels in his Liberal Democratic Party sided with the opposition in the upper house to sabotage bills to privatise Japan Post – which is worth the equivalent of 2.4 trillion euros in assets. He portrayed the poll as a referendum on his reforms. Parliament is expected to vote on the privatisation laws in October, and their approval looks certain.