So much for my point nade in the wee hours of this morning about his having stiffed until now his longtime core support group of historical revisionists...
Did the government of South Korea's refusal to admit it asked the government of Japan to violate Japan's principles against arms exports by supplying South Korean troops in South Sudan with ammunition (Link) tip the balance on whether or not to proceed with a Yasukuni visit? Was it the last straw?
Later - Credit where credit is due: Abe's delivery man Hagiuda Ko'ichi was not kidding us.
Later still - The hawk has flown: NHK has just shown him leaving the main shrine building (honden).
Even later - The prime minister is explaining his action in a live NHK interview from inside an auxilliary building of the shrine.
"Tomorrow was supposed to be the last working day of the year!" I can hear a lot of folks crying...
Way later - By visiting Yasukuni, Abe has hit all his targets for his first year in office. He managed the last one only minutes before the deadline -- but gosh darn it, he did it.
A catastrophe for East Asian relations? A costly waste of goodwill based upon misplaced priorities? Perhaps. But a tip of the hat to the prime minister for doing what he said he would.
Way, way later - It is the evening of Christmas Day in Washington. Late in the evening on Christmas Day.
I can imagine that the Japan-U.S. alliance managers are besides themselves with anger at Abe & Company.