Leo Lewis of The Times makes the world a brighter place by reporting to the citizens of the globe what was front page news on Tuesday in the Tokyo Shimbun - the National Police Agency's hasty backtracking on an announcement of a crackdown on one of Japan's most lethal-looking and beloved road hazards - hoikuen and yōchien mothers (hoikuen fathers do it too, only more safely, lest they catch hell from some quarters) barreling down lanes and sidewalks on bicycles with the elder child in the back, the younger child up front.
For the beleaguered parents of the nation, the Police Agency's shift into reverse is a welcome victory against the otherwise relentless and oppressive nagging of authority figures.
The quick retreat on this issue demonstrates that the defense of liberty can take quirky forms on these shores.
Propose legislation to regulate the Web as if it were the printed press, threatening to put the hosts of bulletin boards and even bloggers out of business--and no one will say diddly squat.
Try to enforce the law against parents overloading their bicycles and riding in an unsafe manner while they are trying to transport their kids to and from kindergarten --and the entire country comes down on your head.