Dr Alf wonders what Abe’s game is and I think it is fairly clear.
Abe is very right-wing and seeks to curry favor with extreme Japanese nationalists, who want to airbrush wartime atrocities out of the equation and stop paying reparations to China.
We see similar things with ex SS men who attend reunions in Germany to celebrate their nefarious activities even as antisemitism is on the rise once more throughout Europe.
The Chinese (but not all of them), deep down, have a hatred of Japan which is going to take decades to remove given Abe’s standpoint, lack of remorse and belief that he can ignore what the Chinese think about certain disputed islands and go to war with America’s help.
There are people in the UK and Russia that feel the same way about Germany although memories in the West are much shorter than those of the Chinese who have a tradition of blaming descendants for the sins of ancestors in a manner that would make an elephant appear forgetful.
One hopes that the future belongs to the young and that we all get past these difficulties as those who now remember die off.
That means that the successor to Abe has to be a lot more straightforward in acknowledging what happened without the Chinese or anyone else having to rub salt in the wounds by publishing more confessions about events in Manchuria, Nanjing (where 500,000 people were murdered not 300,000).
In the meantime, tensions have to be reduced and not inflamed, unless those who want World War 3 are to get their way.