JAPAN: Sobering Victory

The modern headquarters of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party was unusually subdued for a victory celebration. The banzais were perfunctory and beer toasts stood untouched. Even the usually ebullient party leader, Premier Kakuei Tanaka, looked less than exuberant as he painted in the missing eye on a huge daruma doll, a traditional rite signifying victory or success.*

The reason for the gloom was a disappointing showing in last week's national elections for the lower house in the Diet. Even though the party was returned to power with an absolute majority, it dropped 17...

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