What links Osaka, Seoul, Busan and Glendale, California? Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's championing of revisionist history.

Since becoming a member of the Diet in 1993, Abe has been pushing for a more positive spin on Japan's 1931-45 wartime record. To that end, he ushered through a law promoting patriotic education in 2007. More recently, his education ministry has issued guidelines for textbook publishers and educators that mandate instruction about various controversies, such as the "comfort women" system of sexual servitude, that conforms to the government's stance.

In mid-February, in the early days of the Moritomo Gakuen scandal brewing in Osaka, Abe declared that he shared the ideological views of the school's founder. This stalwart defense of Yasunori Kagoike has since crumbled as Abe has scrambled to distance himself from what has become the biggest crisis of his premiership.