Japan: Demo in the Damp

It was No theater at its most negative. Through a misty drizzle, the gleaming forest of black umbrellas and red, blue and yellow banners moved down Tokyo's neon-lit Ginza. "Down with the Sato government!" bellowed the Zengakuren students, Socialist Party workers and Sohyo union members, as they marched past hordes of riot cops in blue plastic helmets with Plexiglas face shields. Then the drizzle gave way to a pelting downpour, and what had been billed as the boldest anti-government "demo" in five years sputtered out like a drenched fuse.

The marchers were protesting...

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