The japanese Prime minister shinzo Abe, second from left, Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, second from right, and japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda, right, bow at the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park on Monday in Honolulu.
(AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
The japanese Prime minister shinzo Abe arrived in Hawaii on Monday to recognize the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
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Abe landed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for the historic visit. He will be the first Japanese prime minister to visit the memorial that honors sailors and Marines killed in the attack that spurred America to enter world War II.
Japan, the former leader Yoshida Shigeru went to Pearl Harbor six years after the country’s world War ii surrender, but that was before the USS Arizona Memorial is built. Yoshida arrived in Pearl Harbor in 1951, shortly after requesting a free visit to the office of Adm. Arthur W. R. Radford, the commander of the U. S. Pacific fleet. The office overlooked Pearl Harbor, and offers a direct view of the attack site.
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The memorial will be closed to the public, Tuesday, when Abe’s visit to the historic site, accompanied by U.S. President Barack Obama, who is on vacation in Hawaii with his family.
The importance of the visit can be, especially symbolic for the two countries, in a remarkable transformation, are grown in close allies in the decades since they faced off in violent conflict. At the same time, it is important that it took more than 70 years of AMERICAN-Japanese relations to get to this point.
Abe won’t apologize for the japanese attack when it comes, the spokesman of the government said earlier this month.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that “the purpose of the next visit is to pay respect for the war victims and not with the offer of an excuse.”
The visit comes six months after Obama became the first sitting American president to visit Hiroshima for the victims of the U. S. atomic bombing of the city at the end of the same war.
On Monday, Abe visited the Ehime Maru Memorial in the vicinity of the center of Honolulu. Nine boys and men died when a U.S. Navy submarine collided with their Japanese fishing boat off Oahu on Feb. 9. 2001. Hawaii Gov. David Ige and Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador in Japan, were among those who joined Abe for a solemn memorial to visit.