JAPAN: How Dirt Finally Downed Mr. Clean

Tight-lipped and haggard, Japan's Premier Takeo Miki waded into the TV glare to concede defeat. Acknowledging an "unprecedented crisis of the postwar years," Miki called on his faction-torn Liberal Democratic Party to "accept frankly the judgment of the people" and seek "reform and change." The L.D.P. has little choice. In an election upset with far-ranging implications, 57 million Japanese voters last week dealt the country's ruling party its worst drubbing since it was formed in 1955.

The election increased the strength of four of Japan's five opposition parties in the lower house...

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