Japan has a small, but relatively strong, Communist Party that is at least as visible and active at election time as any of the more mainstream parties.
On a chilly late autumn Friday morning in Tokyo's Nakano ward, one of Nakano ward's Japan Communist Party councillors is seeking re-election, addressing the passing streams of commuters at the intersection above the Nakano-sakaue subway station (Marunouchi and Toei Oedo subway lines).
Nearby, three men are proffering pamphlets to the passers by criticizing the government's new education reform policy of grading schools according to academic results, saying it will only doom the schools that are in need of help and exacerbate the ultra-competitive atmosphere in Japanese schools that breeds the nationwide problem of bullying.
The above photo is a commentary on the status of the Japan Communist Party, not to mention politics, itself - a grizzled old worker trying to interest three designer-clad young women, not in tissues, but social issues!
November 17, 2006.