Was former Prime Minister Koizumi the bad guy?

Recent catastrophic developments in Japan's economy cast doubts over his liberal policies.

The Japanese economy has been picked up and hurled off a cliff. Such a steep decline in GDP over the past two quarters -- a quarter-on-quarter contraction at an annualised rate of 15.6% in the January-March quarter and a 12% annualised quarter-on-quarter decline in September-December 2008 -- is probably unique in the lifetimes of professional observers of any major economy.

No country within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD has suffered such a fall in key...

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