For the Naysayers
Here's a thought for the "What is so significant about Koizumi? What did he really achieve in his six years?" crowd.
Koizumi visibly and unashamedly supported the Bush Administration's decision to invade Iraq, entangling his country in that mad cause by sending Self Defense Forces to participate in the occupation. He will retire from politics not in disgrace, not with a shrunken reputation but in superordinate power, standing astride his nation's politics like a colossus.
Name one other leader who has plunged his/her country into the mire of Iraq and has come out with his/her reputation enhanced.