Band on The Run

American college students disgrace their school and flabbergast Japan

FOR MORE THAN A WEEK THE STORY WENT UNREported, and for the reputation of Texas Southern University in Houston that was good news. Then the Japanese media disclosed that on Dec. 7 (of all days) members of the university's marching band, on a goodwill trip to Japan, had turned their Tokyo tour into a shoplifting spree, making off with $22,000 in loot from stores. One bystander even claimed that a student had brazenly videotaped enraged merchants chasing the thieves to their buses.

When Japanese police told the Americans that the buses would not leave for the airport until the items were...

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