Meet the G-8 -- Japan's Junichiro Koizumi - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Meet the G-8 -- Japan's Junichiro Koizumi

Let's start with Japan itself. It's a constitutional monarchy, so they have an emperor and a prime minister. The emperor is mostly ceremonial. World War II took care of that. But here's a twist. The people don't elect the prime minister, either. No say at all. They elect representatives to the legislature, then those reps elect the prime minister. Defines "foreign concept" for me. One- hundred- twenty- seven- million people live on Japan, an island nation. The gross domestic product, just under $29,000 a year per person. Note here, the economy hasn't been good lately.

Which brings us to Junichiro Koizumi. Say it with me, it's not hard. Jun- ichi- ro -- Koi- zumi. Prime Minister. Born at the end of World War II, son and grandson of politicians, he's always been in government work. He won his post campaigning to fix an ailing Japanese economy, and clean up corruption. He's also threatened to change the very political system that made him prime minister, so he's not very popular in political circles. He is very popular with the Japanese people though. In part, because he's much more colorful than most of their other, older leaders. A couple of strange notes. He's divorced, and vowed never to marry again. Very unusual for a top Japanese politician. Something else unusual, he has three sons, all around college- age. The older two live with him, and word from a couple of sources is they haven't seen their mother since the divorce twenty years ago. The third son, has never met his father. Let all that sink in. And for the icing on the cake, I warned you he was colorful, riding a wave of popularity after his election, he released a CD of his favorite Elvis songs.

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