Now that he has announced his latest stimulus package, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces a dilemma: Will he now put his energies into the more difficult task of nursing the economy back to full health, including treating long-term cancers eating at society? Or will he perform a bait and switch again to claim that his Diet majority gives him the authority to change the Constitution?

Abe's appointment of the strongly nationalist Tomomi Inada to the key and sensitive post of defense minister can hardly be reassuring either to Japan's neighbors or to the majority of Japanese who don't want to change the country's long-revered constitution. A small test will be whether Inada visits Yasukuni Shrine in the next week to honor the country's war dead, as has been her wont.

But her appointment and political gossip that she is being lined up to succeed Abe when his term expires in 2018 — unless he changes the rules to be able to continue in office — suggest that Abe and friends are hell-bent on amending the Constitution, in their eyes a humiliating imposition by the victorious U.S. forces.