In an editorial published by the Asahi Shimbun on February 16, the newspaper questioned Koizumi’s motives for threatening to vote against Aso’s stimulus package.
“If he is skeptical about Aso’s cash-handout proposal, he should have voiced his concern much earlier,” said the Asahi Shimbun. “There is no doubt that Koizumi’s assault on Aso has drawn public attention to the LDP again. If he is trying to revive the ‘Koizumi political theater,’ his brand of sound bite politics, that doesn’t befit a former prime minister who has announced his retirement from politics. If, on the other hand, Koizumi is serious about trying to push Aso in a new policy direction, he should match his words with actions by voting against the cash handouts in the Lower House revote.”