Yasukuni Shrine seen from Hosei University. 25 July 2015.
Will Abe Shinzo make the short trip to Yasukuni today? The smart money says, "No."
- that yesterday's Cabinet Statement contained all the magic words the international community wanted to hear, if without the tone or sense of agency the international community wanted,
- that the security legislation and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have become embarrassments
- that Xi Jinping is not in a position to be open to chummy photo opportunities with Abe thanks to the tanking the Chinese markets and insecurity among the cadres engendered by the spreading anti-corruption campaign, meaning the loss or gain of a summit is not in play,
- that the construction plans for a Henoko replacement facility for USMC Air Base Futenma have come undone
- that Abe himself faces an LDP party leadership election next month,
I am willing to entertain the notion that the barriers preventing Abe from paying a surprise visit today are a lot lower than most analysts are willing to admit.
True, the chances of such a visit setting off serious anti-Japanese rioting in South Korea and China are not zero. Japanese companies, especially the big names, would likely suffer significant property damage and business losses. Given that Abe's second run for the presidency of the Liberal Democratic Party and second turn in the premiership are largely seen as having been framed as a quid pro quo with with the barons of Big Business, the chances for a provocative Yasukuni visit would seem slim.
And he said on August 12 that he won't go (Link - J).
Then again, despite many warnings not to, Abe paid his visit on December 26, 2013...