A New Sun Is Rising in the Empire of the Rising Sun and the Empire Upon Which the Sun Never Sets (whew!)
Tomorrow the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan will elect a new leader, and at the end of the month Junichiro Koizumi will officially stand down as prime minister. Koizumi has become the face of Japan for as long as I can remember (well since 2001, like I said before, I can never remember to take my ginko biloba). With his crazy hiar and very unjapanese-like disdain for conformity, he has changed japan for the better. His greatest contribution, I think, was his charisma and ability to appeal to the people. By speaking to the electorate directly, Koizumi went over the heads of the insulated Japanese politicians who used to make decisions between themselves, and thusly empowered the democratic system.
Tony Blair is now being criticized by his own party for not stepping down soon enough. Blair has been in office since 1997 (even ginko biloba would not help me remember that).
Regardless of what you think of these men, the faces of two of the most influential countries in the world are soon to change. Not to be a fear monger myself, but with change there is uncertainty, and the change of the leadership of these countries will have profound effects around the world.