Dan Drezner makes a great point about the Japanese election:
From a U.S. perspective, this is a huge win. A staunch U.S. ally has been re-elected, and if Koizumi’s proposed reforms are implemented, then Japanese growth could finally escape its 15-year doldrums. Since Japan is a natural market for U.S. exports, a growing Japanese economy would be a very good thing.
If Koizumi had lost, the New York Times would have explained the election was a repudiation of the Bush administration.