PICKING UP THE PIECES

SHATTERED KOBE BEGINS GRADUALLY TO PUT ITSELF BACK TOGETHER, BUT THE JOB--AND THE PRICE TAG--WILL BE ENORMOUS

The heavens wept last week for Kobe. A downpour that drenched western Japan shadowed forth the cumulative grief of a city awash in death and wreckage. Then, as the industrial hub stirred slowly, painfully back to life, the stock market wept for Kobe. On the blackest trading day in nearly 312 years, the Tokyo exchange's Nikkei index shed 1,054 points, or 5.6% of value, as investors began to size up the blow Japan had suffered. A shudder of the earth that lasted barely 20 seconds in the foredawn of Jan. 17 had dealt upheaval far beyond the human dimension of nearly...

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