More than 1,000 people angered by police corruption took to the streets Friday night, burning barricades and pelting riot troopers with firebombs and rocks in a crime-ridden neighborhood.
At least 106 people, including 83 police, have been injured in the violence that began Tuesday in the Nishinari district of Osaka, Japan's No. 2 city. More than 40 people have been arrested.The scope of the violence is extremely unusual for Japan, where public issues rarely inflame passions to such a degree.
The rundown neighborhood is known for its gangs, transient laborers and shabby hotels. Locals say there long have been bad feelings between the area's poor residents and police.
"Dogs of gangsters, come out, kneel down before us and apologize!" a man screamed through a loudspeaker to police. "Don't you know how much hardship our daily laborers are going through? Why don't you try working at a construction site one day and you will probably realize how much we are abused by this society."
By 1 a.m. Saturday, a crowd estimated earlier at more than 1,000 laborers from the district and outside youths had dwindled to about 600, police said.
Most of the crowd had filtered away by 3 a.m. Saturday, leaving behind a street littered with broken glass, rocks and burned debris. A cordon of about 20 armed troopers continued to guard the police station.