JAPAN: Miki v. the Lords

Premier Takeo Miki is regarded in Japan as a mild-mannered and even distressingly passive leader. Last week, however, he displayed a streak of combativeness worthy of a samurai. Facing a concerted effort by bosses of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to force his early resignation, Miki defiantly announced during a televised press conference that he would refuse to step down prematurely. He also abruptly canceled a scheduled meeting with Party Vice President and Elder Statesman Etsusaburo Shiina, 78, that was widely expected to be the showdown between the Premier and his foes....

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