JAPAN: One Paycheck from Disaster

The strike was quiet and orderly, almost friendly. Members of Kankoro (the government workers' union, mostly railway and communications employees) were out for a 15% pay increase and a year-end bonus of two months' pay instead of one. In Tokyo's mauve smog, the ruddy flames of the strikers' torches and the yellow glow of their Japanese lanterns mingled with the downtown neon lights. Blue-helmeted police grinned at the Kankoro paraders and chatted amiably. Chances for a favorable settlement were good: Prime Minister Yoshida's conservative coalition government knew that the workers needed...

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