Examining these cases, this paper historicizes how the police turn toward a battle over images in the media stigmatized New Left direct action. I consider the outcomes of contestations over the meanings of violence between the police and New Leftists. The damage suffered to the image of the New Left in the media and the advantages accrued to the image of police as protectors of society resulted in a more general aversion to direct action. The antipathy to direct action has remained in the discourse of civil society in Japan, particularly in the media, since the 1970s. This aversion has also made a wide range of activists reluctant to take confrontational direct action even when it was proved to be an effective political strategy.
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