In quick succession:
Feb. 22: At LDP headquarters, Secretary-General Hidenao "Big" Nakagawa apologizes to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, saying, "I overstated my case a little". Mr. Abe is magnanimous, replying with a smile, "Don't worry, [my cabinet] is doing fine."
Feb. 22: Answering questions at the Lower House National Security Committee, Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma apologizes to noone in particular about his criticism of the Bush administration, saying, "… I lacked consideration. I regret [my words]."
Feb. 22: At the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, Shintaro Ishihara apologizes to the assembled LDP assemblypersons, saying, " My bad. I don't know what got into me."
Kidding. Mr. Ishihara only apologizes when the Sun rises from the west. But he was clearly contrite, and asked for LDP support, stating, "I want to receive the help of the LDP, my greatest friend among political parties, and fight on together." The LDP assemblypersons were willing to kiss and make up, since they "couldn't kick away someone who came with his head bowed." And that's as good as it gets from Mr. Ishihara.
Speaking of the Sun rising from the west, Naoto Kan, once and hoping to be future king of the national DPJ, said he would not run even if the Sun did rise from the west. It would have been a good fight, though, what with Mr. Ishihara beginning to show his age (he's 74) and the toll that two full terms in a high-profile job has taken on him.
Feb. 22: On a more somber note, across the pond, in Washington, Yoshihisa Komori reports on his blog that on Feb. 15, at the House Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, Chairman Eni Faleomavaega (Dem., Samoa) and Mike Honda (Dem., California) argued forcefully that Japan should apologize to the "comfort women"; and Dana Rohrabacher (Rep., California) argued just as strongly that Japan had apologized repeatedly. (If anyone who can read Japanese wants to know Mr. Komori's views, make sure to read his responses to comments as well.)