Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Japan: Uh-oh, Mr. Abe Gives 50,000 Yen and a Nice Potted Plant to Yasukuni… Wait, What's This Other Name on the…

The prime minister also donated a potted two-meter high masakaki (cleyera japonica, just in case you wondered) as well. And South Korea is predictably angry. I wager that Beijing will shrug it off, and will let Mr. Abe revisit Beijing, later this year. Giving to Yasukuni must be a fad among the Japanese political leadership, since Yohei Kono, the President of the Lower House, also donated a potted plant.

If Mr. Kohno's name seems familiar to you, yes, he's the same Yohei Kono, the dovish LDP leader, who issued the Kohno Statement (the famous apology to comfort women) in 1993 as Foreign Minister. This Yomiuri article implies Mr. Kono also made a monetary offering, and has been doing this ever since he rose to the top post in the Lower House.

I can't wait to see how the Western media is going to parse this Kono angle. If they ever bother to look, that is. This is about as good as it gets.

Oh well, given BBC standards, it could be worse.

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