Japan dispatches troops to Iraq, and so while researching the connections between that dispatch and American support in negotiations with their neighbors (read North Korea and China), I found this analysis of Koizumi from Kiyoshi Nishi. His point was that Koizumi is great because he's a go-getter risk-taker, unlike his predecessors.
Sorry, but I don't see the risk. In this political environment? So what if it isn't popular? Who's going to take him to task? The public? I don't think so.