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The Student Left in Japan
The Japanese student movement has won world-wide publicity in recent years for its militancy. Repeated images have been conveyed of helmeted, stave-wielding students doing massive and heroic battle with the police, of their holding out against helicopter-borne assaults on their university strongholds, or of their hi-jacking aircraft at swordpoint. The media coverage of such incidents, however sensational, vague and sporadic, seems to have left a deep impact. Yet there has been relatively little serious information or discussion on the Japanese student Left in the other advanced capitalist countries. In this article, I will try to set out my impressions of the direction and present state of the movement, based on my recent experience in Tokyo University (May 1969–August 1970), on readings of the regular press and revolutionary journals in Japan, and those few writings which are available in Western Europe or North America.  It should not be thought, of course, that the student movement is the only form of militant socialist struggle in Japan today. It is much to be hoped that some complementary study of the Japanese workers’ movement will become available in English in the near future.
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