After the Upper House rejected privatization, Koizumi scheduled nationwide elections for September 11, 2005.
As a part of the effort, he accompanied Koizumi to meet Kim Jong‑il in 2002.
In 2002 negotiations between Japan and North Korea,
Prime Minister Koizumi and General Secretary Kim Jong-il agreed
to give abductees permission to visit Japan.
In 2002, negotiations between Japan and North Korea,
Prime Minister Koizumi and General Secretary Kim Jong Il
agreed to give abductees permission to visit Japan.
Because of this electoral loss, former Secretary General Shinzō Abe turned in his resignation,
but Party President Koizumi merely demoted him in rank, and he was replaced by Tsutomu Takebe.
In 1999, he became Director of the Social Affairs Division,
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary in the Yoshirō Mori and Junichirō Koizumi Cabinets from 2000-2003,
after which he was appointed Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party.