"You know, for some reason, I just feel this belongs around my neck."
Last week, Abe Shinzo got U.S. President Barack Obama to say the magic words: the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements cover the defense of the Senkakus. (Link)
He hosted the president (OK, His Majesty was the nominal host, it being a state visit and all) in a visit without a hint of public acrimony and even a little warmth in between the two leaders. (Link)
His negotiators went nose-to-nose with their American counterparts in Trans Pacific Partnership talks...and when those negotiators did not see on the table a deal they wanted, they asked for a break, leaving the Americans at once flabbergasted and unable to express their frustration in public. (Link - J)
When President Obama made a strong statement in South Korea criticizing the treatment of the comfort women, Abe found it in himself to express his own, heartfelt sorrow (No coughing back there! You hear me? I mean it, no coughing!) at the suffering of the women. (Link - J)
The Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito-backed candidate won the Kagoshima District #2 by-election, completing what seems to be the LDP's and the Abe Cabinet's Immaculate Extrication from the Tokuda family's systematic and flagrant violations of election laws. (Link)
And to top off the weekend, the pro-Henoko base LDP-New Komeito-Democratic Party of Japan-backed candidate in the Okinawa City election defeated his anti-Henoko rival, demonstrating that not even the humiliation of the local LDP chapter over the Henoko base and/or the pressure put on ailing Okinawa governor Nakaima Hirokazu could defeat the ruling coalition's punching power. (Link - J)
If the equities markets do not go into free-fall this morning over the delay in any sort of deal on TPP -- which they probably will not, given that no one wants to mess up his or her Golden Week holiday plans -- the PM is likely to be in an insufferable state of smug satisfaction all the way to May 7.
----------- Photo image courtesy: Abe Shinzo official Facebook page.