By staying away from Yasukuni when he was but a few hundred meters away, Abe Shinzo has lobbed the ball into the Chinese leadership's side of the court. Plainly and without shouting, he has declared, "There, I have foregone my favorite ceremonial act and my electoral base's litmus test to reach out to you. What, if anything are you going to do for me?"
12:10 - The Prime Minister and the Emperor have delivered their speeches at the official war's end ceremony at the Nihon Budokan. Neither man's speech, in a cursory listen, had anything surprising or new in it.
For the record, the PM, in addition to the official noontime ceremony, did lay a wreath at around 11:30 a.m. on the altar to the unknown war dead at Chidorigafuchi. (Link)
11:55 - Minister for Administrative Reform and a few other things Inada Tomomi has basically confirmed that she will visit Yasukuni later today. After this morning's cabinet meeting she told reporters, "I believe it is accepted that the citizens of a sovereign nation have the right to show their gratitude, respect and condolences for those who have given up their lives for country."
If Inada does go, three of the four most radical members of the Cabinet (Education Minister Shimomura Hakubun is on an official overseas trip), the three I have dubbed the Terrible Trio, will all have paid their respects on this the most sensitive day.
(Note that by saying, "those have given up their lives for their country" (jibun no kuni no tame ni inochi o sasageta katagata, she includes those who were executed or died after being imprisonned for doing what they thought was right.)
10:10 - Hagiuda Ko'ichi, member of the House of Representatives (Tokyo District #24), the Special Advisor to the Party President (a rarely filled Liberal Democratic Party advisory position) and rugby enthusiast (he is 180cm tall and weighs 93 kg) has visited Yasukuni as Prime Minister Abe Shinzo's representative. He paid for an offering (tamagushiryo) in the PM's name, supposedly with money that the PM gave him, and signed the register "Abe Shinzo, President of the LDP" on the PM's behalf. (Link - J)
10:05 - Correction, Furuya Keiji paid his respects in an official capacity, signing the register as "Minister of State, Furuya Keiji."
9:30 - Shindo Yoshitaka, minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, grandson of Kuribayashi Tadamichi, the commander of the defense of Iojima (Iwo Jima), and failed visitor to Ulleung-do (Link) has visited in a private capacity.
Furuya Keiji, Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission and the Minister of State for the Abduction Issue, and a Abe family retainer, has visited
(It's not as though anyone was expecting him to pay homage as a Korean...)
(Link - J)