Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will become the first leader from his country to visit Pearl Harbor since the Japanese attacked it on December 7, 1941. Fox News reported:
Abe, in a brief statement to reporters, said he would visit Hawaii on Dec. 26 and 27 to pray for the war dead at the naval base at Pearl Harbor and to hold a final summit meeting with Obama before the latter’s presidency ends.
“We must never repeat the tragedy of the war,” he said. “I would like to send this commitment. At the same time, I would like to send a message of reconciliation between Japan and the U.S.”
The White House confirmed a meeting in Hawaii on Dec. 27, saying “the two leaders’ visit will showcase the power of reconciliation that has turned former adversaries into the closest of allies, united by common interests and shared values.”
Six months ago, President Barack Obama became the first American leader to visit the memorial for Hiroshima victims in Japan.
75 years ago, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, killing 2,300 U.S. servicemen. The attack launched America into World War II. But since the end of the war, America and Japan have remained allies:
“Our talks in Hawaii will be a chance to show the rest of the world our ever stronger alliance in the future,” Abe said.
The announcement of the summit comes as Japan worries about the direction of U.S. foreign policy under Obama’s successor, Donald Trump.
The president-elect said during the campaign that Japan and other allies should contribute more to the cost of stationing U.S. troops in their countries. About 50,000 American troops are based in Japan.
Abe met with Trump in New York last month. He wouldn’t disclose details, but said that Trump is a leader he can have great confidence in.
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