Japan: A Whiff of Blood In the Water

A Whiff of Blood In the Water Furor over a tax plan

Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, an adroit political tactician, led his ruling Liberal Democratic Party to a sweeping victory last summer in both houses of the Diet, the Japanese parliament. For his historic win, he was rewarded with an unusual one-year extension in office, becoming the longest- serving Japanese Prime Minister in 15 years.

But Nakasone's success has started to turn sour. Last week the L.D.P. suffered an embarrassing 64% to 30% defeat at the hands of the opposition Socialist Party in a special election to fill a Diet seat in a district long regarded as a ruling-party stronghold. A poll released...

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