Here is an interview with PM Abe prior to his visit with President Bush this week. I'm not sure if he's trying to play nice before an important meeting, but the text of the interview indicates that he has fully retracted on his comfort woman stance. He basically says that he stands behind the Kono statement and that Japan must accept responsibility for past actions.
He also reiterated his desire to re-write Japan's constitution. Perhaps he's decided that he needs to pick his battles, and wants to conserve political capital for the constitutional amendment?