Koizumi Children (小泉チルドレン Koizumi Chirudoren?) is a popular Japanese political term for the 83 LDP members of the House of Representatives first elected in the 2005 general election. The Koizumi Children are loosely organized into a political association called the 83 Group (83会 hachijūsan kai?).
Origin of the term
The term is a reference to then-prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, with whom the LDP success in the 2005 elections is closely associated. Some of the children were so-called 'assassins,' candidates hand-picked by Koizumi to defeat LDP party members who opposed his efforts at postal reform. As such, the children are popularly associated with Koizumi's reform-minded policies.
Koichi Yamauchi, one of the children, has described the term as "essentially meaningless," arguing that differences among the group such as faction membership and personal background make any description of the children as a group problematic.
In the following 2009 general election, only 10 of the 83 Koizumi Children were re-elected. The 2009 election saw a massive defeat for the ruling LDP and brought the opposition DPJ to power for the first time. Ironically, most of these Koizumi Children were defeated in their districts by candidates who were "parachuted" in by the DPJ and others in a style much like the LDP once adopted.
The election also saw a number of young DPJ politicians, all handpicked by DPJ election strategist Ichiro Ozawa, sent to "assassinate" vulnerable LDP seats and subsequently elected in the same manner as the Koizumi Children. As such, these DPJ Diet members were dubbed the "Ozawa Children".
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- 2007年9月21日 (金) 02 永田町レポート＜政治の動き＞ (September 2009). "小泉チルドレンとは？: 山内康一 の「蟷螂（とうろう）の斧」". Yamauchi Koichi. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- Nagano, Yuriko (6 September 2009). "Many novice politicians swept out in Japan's election". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 September 2009.
- "'Koizumi's Children' find the tables turned". The Japan Times. 31 August 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- "Ozawa reaches goal; clout to grow". The Japan Times. 31 August 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2013.