Japan: Mobocracy Again

Once again, Japan's mobs took to the street, and once again, Japan's democratic government abjectly surrendered.

This time the issue was Premier Hayato Ikeda's political-violence prevention bill, designed to prevent the kind of mob violence that last year forced Ikeda's predecessor, Premier Nobusuke Kishi, to cancel a projected visit from former President Dwight Eisenhower and, subsequently, brought Kishi's own resignation. Ironically, the bill was first urged on the government by the Socialists themselves, who took alarm when Socialist Party Chairman Inejiro Asanuma was assassinated by a fanatic right-wing student.

The bill sought merely to punish demonstrators who provoked violence or invaded official...

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