Shinzo Abe offers Pearl Harbor condolences Dec 28, 2016 18:52:50 GMT
Post by Admin on Dec 28, 2016 18:52:50 GMT
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a symbolic visit to Pearl Harbor with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, commemorating the victims of Japan's World War Two attack and promising that his country would never wage war again.
The visit, just weeks before Republican President-elect Donald Trump takes office, was meant to highlight the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance amid concerns that Trump could forge a more complicated relationship with Tokyo.
"I offer my sincere and everlasting condolences to the souls of those who lost their lives here, as well as to the spirits of all the brave men and women whose lives were taken by a war that commenced in this very place," Abe said.
"We must never repeat the horrors of war again. This is the solemn vow we, the people of Japan, have taken."
"This visit to Pearl Harbor was to console the souls of the war dead, not to apologize," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference in Tokyo, adding the trip had showed that the allies would contribute to world peace and prosperity.
Obama, who earlier this year became the first incumbent U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, where the United States dropped an atomic bomb in 1945, called Abe's visit a "historic gesture" that was "a reminder that even the deepest wounds of war can give way to friendship and a lasting peace."
While Abe is not the first Japanese leader to visit this World War II landmark, he's the first do so publicly and alongside a U.S. president. Three Japanese prime ministers made low-key visits in the 1950s, including one in 1957 by Nobusuke Kishi — who was Abe's grandfather.
Those visits received scant attention, so little that Abe himself was apparently unaware his grandfather had been to Pearl Harbor. At the time, the trauma of World War II was still vivid for millions of Americans and Japanese and neither side appeared eager to advertise the unofficial visits by the Japanese leaders.