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Robert F. Kennedy Tours Western Japan

Feb. 7, 1962 - Robert F. Kennedy toured Western Japan today as if he were running for county sheriff. The Attorney General talked with housewives, tickled babies under the chin, and shook hundreds of hands. He visited a factory, a school, a town hall, and a Buddhist temple. Mr. Kennedy’s party traveled through a half-dozen small towns in a caravan of buses reminiscent of an American campaign tour. Tonight, the Kennedys ran into a Leftist demonstration when they arrived in Kyoto, ancient capital of Japan. A crowd of youths in the courtyard of their hotel chanted “Go Home Kennedy!” Communist agitation is especially strong among university students in the Kyoto area. Through most of the day, the atmosphere was very friendly. At a television set factory, where the Attorney spent nearly two hours, young girls who work on the assembly line giggled when asked what they thought of him. They said he was “thrilling” and “handsome” and his wife “young and pretty.” The Buddhist temple the group visited was in Nara. On the way to the temple, Mr. Kennedy stopped to light some ceremonial incense — but only after expressing some doubt that he could properly do so as a Roman Catholic. Ambassador Reischauer assured him that the ceremony was only a mark of respect. The Attorney General indicated that he was thinking not about the Japanese reaction but about his own church.

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