Inside The Outsider

Japan is desperately pinning all its hopes on the strangest politician the country has ever seen

The streets of Tokyo are beginning to stink like New York did when I lived there in the 1980s." That's just about the worst insult you could deliver in Japan, but Yasunori Fukugawa, 47, a professor of urban planning, isn't the only one who sniffs trouble. In the shadows of Tokyo's futuristic skyscrapers, there are tent cities with hundreds of permanently homeless men. Mother Teresa's nuns have set up a soup kitchen in the second richest nation on Earth. The economy is shrinking, and the official unemployment rate has risen to 5%, highest in a generation. In recent weeks, the blue-chip...

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