In an analysis piece entitled, “Nationalism takes back seat to the economy,” the Japan Times writes, “The lineup of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet seems to underline his determination to learn from his mistakes.”

Somehow, I don’t believe that’s how folk on our side of the East Sea will see it.

In a piece entitled “Japanese PM Abe Starts Provocations from Day 1,” the Chosun Ilbo notes that Abe’s cabinet includes Yoshitaka Shindo and Tomomi Inada, the two lawmakers who tried to enter Korea in August of last year to claim Dokdo for Japan.

Shindo and Inada are right wingers.The politically nationalist kind, not the Mike Bossy kind.

Also included was Keiji Furuya, who was appointed chairman of the National Public Safety Commission and state minister in charge of the abduction issue. That he was placed in charge of the abduction issue is particularly ironic given his role in the comfort women issue (see also here). Christ, it almost makes you sympathize with the North Koreans.

And then there’s Hakubun Shimomura, the new education minister. As chief cabinet secretary in 2007, Shimomura had this to say about the comfort women—“It is true that there were comfort women. I believe some parents may have sold their daughters. But it does not mean the Japanese army was involved.”