A smattering of political intrigue.
Today the privatization of the Post Office went through at the federal government level. The current Prime Minister, Koizumi has been trying to push through this reform for quite some time. During the summer the privatization was put to a vote. Koizumi said to his party members that if any of them were to vote against the bill, he would see to it that they would not be elected again. The bill was defeated because some of Koizumi's party members decided to vote against the party line.
So Koizumi called a snap election. He was not in good shape going in, but went against the odds. He installed new candidates for any of the seats who voted against his pet bill, to keep them from getting re-elected.
The Japanese people loved this political maneuvering and supported Koizumi with a majority government, something normally unheard of in Japan. Koizumi then went ahead and proceeded with the Post Office bill, and today saw its successful completion.