Japanese workers on rampage

(First Edition)

TOKYO (Reuter) - Hundreds of angry Japanese workers clashed with police in Osaka yesterday after the local government suspended an emergency aid programme. The crowd set fire to several cars and scores of motorcycles and bicycles, a police spokesman said. No one was injured but at least three rioters have been arrested, he added.

Police feared the protests could grow out of control in the slum area of Nishinari Airin, home to 20,000 labourers and an estimated 45 gangster groups, the yakuza, that recruit workers for manual jobs on a daily basis.

'The violence could escalate further because more and more workers are joining the protests,' the spokesman said.