Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro stepped down in September 2006 after a five-year term in which he reshaped Japanese politics by undermining his own party's political machine, stretched the constraints on Japan's military role, and promoted a program of “structural” economic reform. In his final year in office, he confronted a backlash against his economic reform program and presided over a chill in relations with China and South Korea. Abe Shinzo replaced Koizumi, pledging to repair relations with Japan's neighbors and to promote a pro-growth economic strategy.
Gene Park, and Steven Vogel. “Japan in 2006: A Political Transition.” Asian Survey, vol. 47, no. 1, Feb. 2007, pp. 22–31.