Armed to the teeth with blood-red lipstick and a killer smile, Yuriko Koike stormed the streets in a working-class Tokyo neighborhood with rapid-fire handshakes and a brigade of young campaign aides wearing hot-pink T-shirts and waving rose-colored flags. One of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's hit squad of female "assassins," the ex-TV news anchor vowed to take no prisoners in Japan's nationwide elections today.
"This is a ground battle for reform!" Koike, 53, shouted through a bullhorn to her giddy audience. "Let's change Japan!"
Koike joined a star-studded cast of female candidates sent out on the campaign trail over the past month by Koizumi, who has vowed to resign if his fractured Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) fails to win control of Japan's lower house. The women -- ubiquitously referred to in the national media as Koizumi's assassins -- also include Satsuki Katayama, a model-turned-bureaucrat, and Makiko Fujino, Japanese TV's version of Martha Stewart. Their mission: to take out the prime minister's political enemies in the old boys' network that long held sway over the LDP.
Cool. I've always liked Koizumi, and he is really trying to reform the Japanese system, which, like most governments, needs it. The 'old boys' network' the article refers to is strangling Japan, in my opinion, and has been the chief obstacle in any reforms. I hope his assassins can bring it down.
I do wonder if our reporter wasn't a bit too exuberant: "blood-red lipstick"? "giddy audience"? Hmmm ...
On the other hand, I want to call them 'kunohachi' (related to 'kunoichi').