Farewell to Japan's Junichiro Koizumi

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Today, President Bush hosts a farewell summit for Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi who steps down in a couple months. Bush also plans to take the Prime Minister to Graceland — Koizumi's a big Elvis fan. Jocelyn Ford has more on the Japanese leader's legacy.

JOCELYN FORD: To foreign investors, Japan is a different place from five years ago. It's a much more happening place.

DAVID MARRA:"Last year Japan had more investment in any year in Japanese economic history."

Business Consultant David Marra of AT Kearney says Japan's economy is growing, and consumers are buying again. And that's enticing more companies to invest.

MARRA: "Foreign consumer companies now see Japan as the second largest market in the world, and a growing market."

Last year foreign investors in Japanese stocks made a new record. They now own nearly 27 percent of Japanese shares, to the tune of about 1 and 1/3 trillion dollars.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi can take some credit for making Japan's economy more vibrant. He helped get rid of red tape and kept reforms like financial deregulation on track.

I'm Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.

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