You can agree or disagree the legacy of 5 1/2 years Koizumi reign, but one thing he certainly did:
"In Japan, the wa surrounds you. You can feel it in the priciest sushi bars and lowliest noodle parlors. Call it the particular Japanese way of looking at the world; of harmony, of collectiveness with a do-not-rock-the-boat spirit. In the mythology of "Star Wars" movies, the wa is like the Force. To mess with the wa is a cardinal sin.
Junichiro Koizumi messed with the wa. (…) But most Japanese discovered a shocking truth: Maybe the wa needed to be messed with."
Exit Koizumi, Japan's Relentless Jedi Knight (Washington Post - 2006/9/23)