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Suga’s reluctance to speak makes it hard to figure out who he truly is

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Every new prime minister strives to make a splash with their first policy speech before the Diet, it seems. Many seek to underscore their political convictions with catchy phrases.

Junichiro Koizumi preached "kome hyappyo no seishin" (literally, the "spirit of 100 bags of rice"). This derived from a historical episode about a feudal domain that allocated the meager proceeds from the sale of 100 bales of rice to education rather than to feeding the hungry populace.

Koizumi's point was to stress the need for reforms that would inevitably demand sacrifices from the public.

At the start of Shinzo Abe's first stint as prime minister, his chosen........

© The Asahi Shimbun

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