JAPAN: Remembrance of Things Past

In Tokyo last week, Japan's once-dreaded policemen made themselves ridiculous in public. Day after day, Tokyo's Police Chief Ken Ogura announced that his cops were about to enter the campus of Tokyo University and arrest three students. Day after day, fearful of the riot that was sure to be touched off by their appearance on campus, Ogura's cops failed to make good on the chief's threat, while inside the three students held triumphant press conferences for newspaper and television reporters.

The defiant students were members of the executive committee of the Zenga-null the 290,000-member Japanese student federation. The crime for...