Thu, Aug 03, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Charisma trumps in LDP leader race

POPULIST TURN Sound bites are more likely to win the party's leadership than sound policy in a country shaped by the expressive leadership of Prime Minister Koizumi

AP , TOKYO

"To protect our national interest, we must seize the initiative in our foreign policy," Abe said.

Abe's new book is also criticizes China and urges a more assertive diplomacy.

"There are politicians willing to fight, and those who aren't," Abe says. "A fighting politician takes action for his country and people, without fearing reprisal."

Abe's supporters had earlier worried that his blatant hawkishness might hurt his run for prime minister. There are critics even within the LDP who see Koizumi's visits as an unnecessary provocation of an economically important neighbor.

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