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Koizumi's all-time Elvis favorites

Koizumi Elvis
The CD features 25 of Koizumi's top Elvis songs  

TOKYO, Japan -- You've had the T-shirt and the poster, now brace yourself for the latest offering from the Japanese PM's fast-expanding fan club -- "Junichiro Koizumi Presents: My Favorite Elvis Songs."

The CD goes on sale next week and is expected to be a hit both with Japanese fans of the wildly popular prime minister and of the King of and Rock and Roll himself.

It features 25 of Koizumi's all-time Elvis favorites including "I want You, I need You, I Love You," "Are you Lonesome Tonight?" and "It's Now or Never."

Proceeds from the sale of the CD, which will only be available in Japan, will go to charity.

Sex symbol

"Elvis is the best and in a class by himself" - Junichiro Koizumi Asia
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Since taking office in April, Koizumi's popularity has soared to record highs -- buoyed by his reputation as an unlikely Japanese sex symbol -- with approval ratings reaching as high as 90 percent.

Posters of the prime minister with his trademark 'lion's mane' hair have become highly prized collectors items, and the souvenir shop at the headquarters of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party regularly runs out of Koizumi merchandise.

In a statement released to the Japanese Elvis fan club earlier this year Koizumi revealed his undying love for the King.

"I love Elvis," his statement proclaimed. "I never get tired of listening to his songs no matter how many times I hear them."

'Elvis is forever'

"Elvis is forever and so are his songs", he added.

Elvis impersonator
The King has a massive following in Japan  

He said that in the few private moments he gets to himself since taking office, a few minutes in the company of the King "eases off my fatigue".

According to the prime minister it was his younger brother Masaya Koizumi -- a man he describes as an "Elvis maniac" -- who first introduced him to the music.

Masaya is now a senior member of the Tokyo branch of the Elvis Fan Club and was responsible for the unveiling of an Elvis statue in the Japanese capital in 1987.

But as well as being a huge fan Koizumi also shares Elvis' birthday.

"My birthday is January 8, the same as Elvis," he wrote earlier this year. "It's one of the things I'm so proud of."

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