JAPAN: The Rose & the Thorn

The Japanese, so often accused of slavish copying, are capable of adding their own fantastic variations to what they borrow. Take parliamentary government, for example.

Weary of always being outvoted in the Diet, the Socialists have tried to outshout and outbrawl their opponents, at times reducing Japan's postwar democracy to a mess. Faced with these outbursts, Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi remained politely placid, meek and smiling. "But Kishi's smile," the Socialists admit with just a trace of admiration, "is like a rose—it has thorns that slash." Last week, faced...

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