JAPAN: Defeat in the Diet

Ever since Japan regained independence eleven months ago, 74-year-old Premier Shigeru Yoshida has had to battle his own political supporters as well as his opponents. Last week, in the Diet's lower house, Yoshida drummed his fingers on his desk while members filled up a black-lacquered box with yellow (aye) vote markers—and thereby kicked him out of office. Of the 229 Diet members who voted no confidence in Yoshida, 22 were members of his own Liberal Party; 218 Liberals stuck with their Premier.

Yoshida's intraparty troubles stem from a promise he made in 1946,...

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