At least one student - daughter of a university professor - was killed and nearly 800 were injured in Tokyo, June 15, during the worst outbreak of violence so far in the battle of left-wing extremists against the Japanese-American security treaty and the Kishi Government.
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Background: At least one student - daughter of a university professor - was killed and nearly 800 were injured in Tokyo, June 15, during the worst outbreak of violence so far in the battle of left-wing extremists against the Japanese-American security treaty and the Kishi Government.
An estimated 10,000 members of the militant students' organisation Zengakuren, outnumbering the police two to one, stormed the Diet at the end of a day of otherwise peaceful strikes, rallies and demonstrations against the treaty all over the country. The battle in the Diet grounds continued late into the night and more than 50 students were arrested.
Trouble began when ultranationalists drove a lorry into a crowd of members of cultural organisations. Zengakuren students then dragged the heavy wooden side gets of the Diet down with ropes, pulled away and wrecked a police lorry blocking the gate, and stormed through the breach. For the first time since the present wave of violence started, police used fire hoses in an attempt to repel the students, who slowly forced their way into the secretariat building just inside the gate. In the ensuing battle the building was reduced to a shambles.
During the height of the clashes, the bodies of injured students and policemen were laid out in rows on the pavement outside the grounds, waiting for ambulances. For more than an hour students and police exchanged bitter insults over loud-speakers, before police reinforcements arrived and forced the invaders out.
Later, police fired tear-gas bombs into charging students who rallied for a second assault on the Diet grounds. The scene was lit by seven burning police lorries, while the Cabinet held an emergency meeting inside the building. By late evening the police estimated the anti-Government forces at about 20,000. They said their own casualties in the fighting numbered 500.
On June 16 - less than 72 hours before President Eisenhower was to arrive in Japan - deputy Cabinet Secretary Shunichi Matsumoto announced the Government's decision to ask the American President to postpone his visit to Japan indefinitely, as his safety could not be fully guaranteed. Premier Kishi told the press that, while he had to surrender to the Opposition on the visit, he would not compromise on the ratification of the security treaty or anything else. He declared: "When I consider the situation that Japan faces, there is serious danger that democracy and parliamentary Government may be wrecked by destructive violence. I shall not resign or dissolve the Diet will the security treaty is ratified."
While Mr. Kishi was speaking, fanatical students demonstrating outside the Diet and in front of his official residence received the news with shouts of exultation and vowed to renew the fight for the Premier's