JAPAN: Shame by Association

Crowds of howling marchers descended last week on the Tokyo headquarters of the giant Marubeni Corp. (1975 sales: $19 billion). Millions of dollars worth of contracts with local governments were canceled because of public outrage. The children of Marubeni's 8,000 employees have been jeered by schoolmates because their fathers work for "the bad, bad company."

The demoralizing form of social ostracism suffered by Marubeni employees and their families is part of what one Tokyo newspaper calls the "peanuts elegy." Marubeni was the company accused of handing out the "peanuts"—local slang for bribery packets—in Japan's Lockheed scandal (TIME, Feb. 16). Anybody...

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