ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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JAPAN LETTER-Black Mist Seeps through

TWO OR THREE EVENTS in the past year have dramatised the social malaise in Japan, a malaise that partly explains the so-called 'black mist' of Japanese politics. The event that made the most headlines was the prosecution of Suzuki of the Chiba Medical University. Over the past few years a mysterious illness had been observed in Chiba prefecture resulting in several deaths. The mystery was eventually traced to certain typhus- smeared sponge cakes which had been offered to nurses and other associates of Suzuki. The smears had been inserted by this doctor. In self-defence, Suzuki stated that it was partly because of his low status and inferior working conditions that, out of spite, he had started to poison people. The Japanese medical profession does in fact work under worse conditions than do other professions, and late in 1966 a major strike of interns had only just been averted.

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