JAPAN: Unsinkable Kaku-san

By all the rules of modern politics, any Prime Minister whose popularity rating in the public opinion polls is approximately equal to his country's annual rate of inflation must surely be headed down the tube. But not Japanese Premier Kakuei Tanaka, whose Liberal Democratic Party now appears certain to win this week's upper-house elections.

As recently as two months ago, many political observers in Tokyo believed that the L.D.P., which has ruled Japan for almost 25 years, was headed for defeat or into a forced coalition with one of the minority parties. After all, Japan was, and is, suffering from...

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