Our Illustrious Leader, Taro Aso found time between mixing wallpaper paste to offend the Chinese the other day by leaving a wreath and his calling card at the CONTROVERSIAL Yasukuni shrine, dedicated to the 2.5 million or so poor sods who died in fighting for the East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere and a 1,000 or so bona fide war criminals. Popping round at regular intervals to the shrine has a habit of really pissing off the Chinese and Koreans, so naturally plays well with conservative voters here. Consequently, PMs and other VERY IMPORTANT POLS have to decide which side their bread is buttered on - truth, justice and the Abikan Way (and therefore steer clear of the place), or the need to get the old codgers out to vote. Wimpy pols take an imagined third option and visit the shrine, but only in a private capacity. This has the predictable effect of pissing everybody off. Aso at least put his money where his mouth is - and left his little present with his prime-ministerial scent all over.
By the way, when Our Man was a whipper-snapper of an English teacher at Berlitz in Kudan, many summers ago, he used to have his sandwiches beneath the shade trees of the Yasukuni shrine, though he always went in his private capacity, naturally, so as not to upset anyone. He also used to play badminton and snooze on the otherwise unused lawns of the Imperial Palace just down the road, but that was as close to royalty he has ever come.
Pic lifted from here.