Published: Tue, December 27, 2016
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Japan Prime Minister visits Ehime Maru memorial


I would like to express this vow for the future and the value of reconciliation [between Japan and the United States] together with US President Obama, ' Abe Abe told reporters before flying to Hawaii.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will touch down on Oahu on Monday morning in a historic visit commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The attack led the United States to declare war on Japan the next day.

Abe's top spokesperson, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, has also made it clear that during Abe's visit between December 26 and December 27, "no apology would be offered" for the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has landed in Hawaii, ahead of a visit to Pearl Harbor, the USA naval base attacked by the Japanese in 1941.

The moving memorial, appearing to float above the rusting remains of the USS Arizona, attracts two million tourists, pilgrims and veterans every year.

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The war began at Pearl Harbor with the Japanese attack on Battleship Row which killed more than 2,300 US servicemembers on December 7, 1941.

Visiting Pearl Harbor as a Japanese leader is seen as a rare occurrence because of domestic political opposition. The New York Times did not cover any of the prime ministers' visits to Pearl Harbor, and the Associated Press and The Nikkei Shimbun of Japan described Kishi's visit to Honolulu without mentioning Pearl Harbor.

U.S. President Barack Obama will join Abe at Pearl Harbor.

Indeed, the politics of apology began to gain currency only in the 1980s, said Alexis Dudden, a professor at the University of CT who specializes in modern Japanese history.

The event is to honor those who died and reaffirm the U.S. -Japan relationship that has grown since the war ended. "I hope to make this meeting an opportunity to sum up the past four years, and would like to discuss the various issues that we have tackled", Abe said. "That's more important. How his speech will be evaluated historically and internationally is more interesting".

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