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Welcome to the May/June update of the Habri website.

Topics featured this time include our analysis of the May 26/27 G7 summit, hosted by Japan, and President Barack Obama's historic visit to the Hiroshima atom bomb memorial.

The summit was held at the Shima Kanko Hotel, 25 km from Ise Jingu, the holiest shrine of Shinto, which until the end of the Second World War was the "state religion" of Japan. The sun goddess Amaterasu - considered by Shinto believers to be the legendary founder of the Japanese nation and the ancestor of all emperors that have ruled Japan - is enshrined here. The Meiji government protected Shinto and used it as the ideological basis for an emperor-centered nation. In 1871, Shinto shrines were officially classified as either government shrines or "other" shrines, and Ise Jingu was recognised as the most important shrine of State Shinto.

The above photo is of one of the temples in the grounds of Ise Jingu, which itself cannot be photographed. I find the image somehow symbolic of the G7 meeting: the intertwined roofs supporting the larger structure - the world?

In the Habri Diary we also look back at a problematic, corrupt former Japanese prime minister, who for some reason is enjoying renewed popularity....

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