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Last Updated: Monday, 12 September 2005, 10:01 GMT 11:01 UK
Japan press clamours for reform
Junichiro Koizumi, speaking at a post-election news conference
Papers say win is no carte blanche

The landslide victory of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in the lower house election is welcomed in the country's papers.

Most however agree that Mr Koizumi must do more than privatise the post office, the single issue that triggered the snap poll.

Several say the outcome does not mean a carte blanche for the prime minister, and urge him to tackle wide-ranging social and constitutional


Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's largest daily

The overwhelming victory of (Mr Koizumi's) Liberal Democratic Party is perhaps due to the prime minister's theatrical approach, which proved more effective than was thought, of presenting this only as a place to vote 'yes' or 'no' for postal services privatisation. But privatisation of postal services is not the only important issue for national politics... The biggest issue that needs to be tackled for the time being is reform of pensions and other social reform systems... We also wonder how Koizumi will deal with diplomatic and national security issues, given the volatile international situation surrounding the nation.

Asahi Shimbun, second-largest daily

It is an enormous result... Yet, from this dynamic development triggered by one single theme, we sense the potential as well of some sort of fear, and danger for democracy... It is wrong to think that this overwhelming victory means every aspect of Koizumi politics has gained a vote of confidence. That is because the prime minister has hardly spoken about any other policy issue apart from the postal service. The prime minister constantly avoided focusing on issues such as constitutional revision and deadlocked foreign policy. We cannot just give him a carte blanche.

Mainichi Shimbun, third-largest daily

Voters who cast their ballots for the LDP are not only eyeing postal services. It is irresponsible on the part of the prime minister not to discuss matters other than postal services. The prime minister should be made aware that voters did not give him a carte blanche and he should make clear what policy issues he will be giving priority to during his term in office.

Nihon Keizai Shimbun, leading business daily

Prime Minister Koizumi should respond to the hopes of voters and not stop at postal privatisation. He should speed up structural reforms such as fiscal reforms of both central and local governments, cuts in healthcare costs, and mergers and abolition of government-affiliated financial institutions... Indeed, the LDP has reduced old-fashioned, old-guard lawmakers and sharply increased young lawmakers and women lawmakers. But we cannot yet reach a definite conclusion that the LDP has truly transformed itself. Even if the House of Representatives has changed, the House of Councillors remains a chamber of lawmakers catering to special interests, or a den of forces resisting reforms.

Tokyo Shimbun, metropolitan daily

Koizumi-Led LDP wins landslide victory: Koizumi should not take it as being given carte blanche. Even those who are disenchanted with government politics must have seen the latest election as an 'extraordinary event' and have felt a kind of pleasure.

Sankei Shimbun, daily published by Fuji Sankei Communications Group

The prime minister also has the responsibility to initiate reform of the Constitution, the ultimate structural reform.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.

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