JAPAN: Trend for Hatoyama

"Banzai, banzai, banzai," cried the members of the Japanese Diet last week as they bolted from the chamber, bound for beer and sake in their party caucus rooms. Premier Ichiro Hatoyama's government had just formally dissolved the Diet in preparation for the Feb. 27 general elections. The Premier, who is partially crippled, was wheeled up and down the corridors by his aides, beaming and shaking hands.

Ichiro Hatoyama had good cause for elation. Last week the big Kyodo news agency polled voters and confirmed the Asahi verdict: 40.8% for Hatoyama; 18% for Taketora Ogata, successor to the fallen Shigeru Yoshida...

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