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By the time you read this column, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be ready to leave for Tehran. This week I first wondered if I should write about Abe’s trip to Iran, the first visit to the country by a Japanese prime minister since 1978, but finally decided not to, because I strongly felt that I should write something about the 30th anniversary of May 35, 1989.

Like “VIIV” or “Eight Squared,” “May 35” is another argot for the bloody crackdown on student protesters occupying Beijing’s Tiananmen Square that started before dawn on June 4, 1989. People often ask each other what they were doing on a historic day and for “June 4,” I am no exception.

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