yesterday (8 feb).
i wouldnt read much into it tho, Ito merely said they are looking into it as well as reflected their last F1 challenge in 00s (sth like "we feel it deeply regrettable but if it's easy to achieve there's no point of challenge" etc). The rest is usual media hype.
He may have hinted sth, being fully aware of what media would write, want to observe public and shareholder response, or merely confirmed the open secret that's getting boring already (that they are evaluating possibility of F1 comeback). we cant tell.
I don't think we can tell much at this point.
The interesting thing about Honda R and D is that they tend to design and build engines for formulae the company has no intention of joining, so I personally wouldn't be surprised if there is a 2014 spec engine being tested in Japan right now.
It is possible that Honda will ask Honda R and D if they have an F1 engine developed and then make a decision to join/not to join based on that. As such Honda can make that decision much quicker than most other manufacturers who only research and develop things they are actually going to use or sell.
Thats how Honda got their WTCC entry in extremely quickly, Honda R and D had developed the engine just to keep up to date so when the company decided to join the sport it only took some quick modifications and they could run.
Having said that its only a year before the 2014 season and I feel its far too late for a proper tie-up with all the contractual and legal shenanigans, and thats assuming that they've been in real talks with real teams.
I also don't think Honda will ever sign for a midfield team again. Their lesson from buying BAR was that if you want to win you really have to tie up with a frontrunner. McLaren ticks this box, Sauber unfortunately doesn't.