It is not even 9 a.m. and already the semi-annual herd of members of the Diet have stomped through Yasukuni Shrine. The 146 strong (Link -J) phalanx of fantabulism seems to have been led, as in the last two iterations of this event, by sleepy-eyed Otsuji Hidehisa (Link - J) and cat-who-ate-the-canary-faced Liberal Democratic Party Policy Chair Takaichi Sanae (Link). MPs from the LDP, the Japan Restoration Party, the Democratic Party of Japan, the Your Party and the Unity Party participated in the group paying of respects. (Link - J)
Bewildering and ominous is the report that Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Shindo Yoshitaka made a repeat visit this morning as well (Link - J). Shindo visited the shrine on April 12, before the start of the Spring Festival, just as he had done last year. Just why he thought it wise or necessary to visit the Yasukuni again and so close to the visit by President Barack Obama.
Cabinet Minister Shindo's visit this morn is just the sort of upping of the ante which could upset summit atmospherics warned about in my post of yesterday (Link). Is Shindo's double take a sign that he knows he is not one of the elect, those who will carry on as ministers after the much anticipated reshuffle of the Cabinet and LDP posts after the end of the present Ordinary Diet Session? (Link - J)