Tuesday, November 5,' 1968
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Tuesday, November 5, 1968 THE MICHIGAN DAILY
UNREST PLAGUES JAPAN:
Rampaging students battle for reform
TOKYO (MP-Dressed in steel large; professors, though fre-
helmets, carrying baskets of rocks quently incompetent, cannot be
and bludgeons, they are spoiling removed, and tuition is rising/an-
for a fight. They usually get it. nually.
Extremist students in more than Bighess-and maladministration
50 Japanese universities have -were the sparks that touched'
been on a rampage for months. off the flames at the privately run
they have beaten professors, Nihon Daigaku, a superuniversity
locked in school presidents, battled with 80,000 students.
police and inflicted millions of Student movements long had
dollars indamage. been banned on campus. But when
A ntiwar DaMy Monday by staging
a small war of their own.
In Tokyo, they wrecked the
busy Shlnjuku rail hub, smash-
ing windows, setting fire to buses
and buildings, ripping out train
signals, tearing up track ties.
Like pike-carrying foot soldiers
of medieval armies, they met po-
lice--similarly attired in heavy
protective clothing and carrying
nets--in head-on clashes. When
the smoke and turmoil subsided,
340 police and students had been
injured---some seriously-and 928
had been arrested.
At least a million commuters
had to walk or take other means
of transportation as two of To-
kyo's main rail lines were para-
lyzed the next morning.
The harassed Tokyo metropo-
itan police board invoked the riot
act for the first time in 16 years;
under. it, ringleaders can get up to
10 years in prison.
In the past 10 months, about
4000 demonstrating students have
been arrested throughout the
country. They include members of
4t the national Zengakuren student
association, so far out they con-
temptuously dismiss Mao Tse-
tung as too namby pamby. Other
thousands come from institutions
considered so Tconservative no one
bothered organizing them politic-
The Antiwar Day demonstrators
were led by Zengakuren extre-
mists who oppose the Vietnam
war, want V..S. forces to get out
of Japan, and regard Primq Min-
ister Eisaku Sato's Liberal Dem-
ocratic government as reactionary.
They get little public support
and almost none from more mod-
erate but less vocal students who
are a majority of Japan's 1.5 mnil-
Most of Japan's student mal-
contents are aroused by problems
closer to home'
4 Some want to be consulted on
the elections of university presi-
dents; others insist on running
student association buildings, still
others demand "democratization'!
of the university administration.
There is also a general student
feeling that somehow they are not
getting' what they should out of
a university career. Classes are too
on April 15 the Tokyo tax admin-
istration disclosed that it had
spent 2 billion yen-$5,555,555-
between 1963 and 1967 in secret
extra payments to directors and
professors, the students exploded.
Why, they asked, hadn't rome-
thing been done to improve their
own classroom conditions?
Some classes had as many as
4,000 students, so unwieldy many,
stayed away. There were more
part-time lecturers than full-time
professors and instructors com-
In a 12-hour confrontation with
12,000 undergraduates Oct. 1,
Chancellor Jujiro Furata and the
board of directors promised to
make sweeping concessions, cean
up the administration and, to cap
it all, resign in a group.
But the next day Furata and
directors announced they had
withdrawn their resignations. This
set the stage for prolongation of
the six-month-old dispute. Stu-
dent political activists from the
Zengakuren moved in to school the
inexperienced "revolutionaries" in
violent tactics. Their first step was
to call Furata a leader of "Japan-
ese imperialists." -
A similarly nonpolitical issue
aroused the students of prestigious
Tokyo University, which has pro-
duced most of Japan's prime min-
isters. The tempest broke ii an
unlikely area: the medical depart-
ment, to rebellion against a new
law which required young doctors
to undergo a two-year internship
at low monthly salaries..
The medical students went on
strike but got little sympathy from1
fellow students. Then President
Kazuo Ikichi called in riot police
to oust a group occupying the ad-
ministration offices, and the en-
tire student body rallied behind
the medical students.
Academic activities ground to a
halt for the first time in the uni-
versity's 91-year history Oct. 12
when the law faculty joined nine
others already on strike.
The student strike craze reach-
ed as unlikely a place as Keio
University, long regarded as a
stronghold of the pro-American
wealthy class. Last Sunday its
president, Kunio Nagasawa, said
either classes would have to be
resumed soon or all 11,000 under-
graduates would have to take
make up courses.
Classes have been suspended
since July in a protest against
Keio's acceptance of U.S. military
funds for research.
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