Number of Cabinet Ministers visiting Yasukuni Shrine on the August 15 commemoration day, 1975 to 2007:
Courtesy: Mainichi ShimbunOne.
One measly Cabinet minister
Her Excellency the Minister of Okinawa, the Northern Territories, Science & Technology Policy, Innovation, Childbirth Dearth, Gender Equality and Food Safety Takaichi Sanae.
That is it.
I can imagine the panic at the Kantei after the 12:00 NHK news report:
"What, wait. What did that report say? NO Cabinet ministers have visited yet? Holy smokes, are we ever in deep bat guano with the base! Who can we call? Takaichi, she's got the requisite Neanderthal leanings! Looking at her portfolio, she cannot be doing anything much important right now. Get her on the phone right now--and tell her to wear something that doesn't show sweat stains. I mean, it's like 35 degrees out there right now...no wonder Koizumi went first thing in the morning. Damn!"
Looking at the above graph, aside from the anomalous dip in 1993-94 when there were so many Socialists in the Cabinet, the number of Cabinet members has been eroding away at a slow but inexorable pace.
I hope the Chinese and South Korean embassies cut this graph out, blow it up and nail it to the wall of their political sections with the admonition:
"Don't take it personally; don't make a big deal about it; don't brief the press. Just let it die."
An abbreviated version of the same graphical information can be found on the front page of today's Asahi Shimbun.