Japanese Prime Minister Abe and President Obama to Visit Pearl Harbor
By: Annie Yager, Xiro Xone News December 5, 2016 Updated: 7:12 PM
President Barack Obama will accompany Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 27th.
Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement early on Monday that Obama will also hold talks with Abe in Honolulu on that day.
"The President will ... accompany Prime Minister Abe to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor to honor those killed," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced Monday. "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."
"The meeting will be an opportunity for the two leaders to review our joint efforts over the past four years to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance, including our close cooperation on a number of security, economic, and global challenges," he said.
Abe said Monday that he would go to Hawaii on Dec. 26-27 to “pay tribute” to military personnel from both sides of the Pacific who died during the war.
“This visit is to comfort the souls of the victims. We’d like to send messages about the importance of reconciliation [between the two countries],” Abe told reporters in Tokyo.
More than 2,300 U.S. servicemen died in the aerial attack, which will be marked Wednesday at Pearl Harbor with a remembrance ceremony and a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., when the Japanese planes hit their first target.
Three and a half years later, the war came to an end after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and on Nagasaki three days later. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15.
Abe’s visit will make him Japan’s first leader to visit Pearl Harbor. This comes about six months after Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the memorial in Hiroshima, where the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb over the region in 1945.