Japan Tight Spot

Nakasone jockeys for survival

In politics, it is pitch-black even an inch in front of one's nose. So goes a Japanese proverb. And so went Japanese politics last week as Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone tried to fashion a strategy that would keep him in office beyond October, when the rules of his Liberal-Democratic Party (L.D.P.) require that he step down.

Nakasone had hoped for a surge of support from his party's power brokers following the seven-nation economic summit in Tokyo last month to pave the way toward an unprecedented third term. Instead, he was widely denounced for his handling of the meeting. His vaunted friendship...

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