Advertisements

Japan in Depth: Pearl Harbor Visit Final Stage of Japan-U.S. Reconciliation

DTMANAGE.000000020161206151330760-1.jpg

It was previously thought that Abe was not inclined to visit Pearl Harbor. In the process of arranging Obama’s visit to Hiroshima, the U.S. State Department communicated secretly with Japan about the possibility of Abe visiting Pearl Harbor. However, the Japanese side declined. The prime minister apparently thought his visit would have a negative impact on Japan-U.S. relations because the focus would be on whether or not an apology would be made during the visit and historical arguments would resurface.

Hiroshi Tajima and Satoshi Ogawa report: Minister Shinzo Abe’s planned visit to Pearl Harbor later this month is based on his decision to demonstrate a mature and future-oriented Japan-U.S. alliance to the world. The prime minister announced Monday night that he will visit Hawaii on Dec. 26 and 27, and visit Pearl Harbor with U.S. President Barack Obama during the Hawaii stay.

“I have long thought of demonstrating the significance and symbolism of visiting Pearl Harbor and the importance of reconciliation.”

— Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

The visit with Obama — following the U.S. president’s visit to Hiroshima in May — will be a historic event to symbolize Japan-U.S. reconciliation, as the leaders of the two countries that fought fiercely against each other in World War II will have paid their respects to victims of the war on those occasions.

[Read the full story here, at The Japan News]

“I have long thought of demonstrating the significance and symbolism of visiting Pearl Harbor and the importance of reconciliation,” Abe told reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday night.

pearl-harbor-newspaper

The prime minister said he has had the idea of visiting Pearl Harbor for a long time, and started specific planning last year.

Pearl Harbor is a significant place in Japan-U.S. history along with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On Dec. 7, 1941 (Dec. 8 Japan time), the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor and sank and damaged eight U.S. battleships, including the USS Arizona. Americans fought World War II with the phrase “Remember Pearl Harbor” in their minds.

The day after the attack, then U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt described the day of the attack as “a date which will live in infamy” in a speech at a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

At the same place Roosevelt made the speech, the prime minister delivered a speech in April last year and said: “History is harsh. What is done cannot be undone,” naming locations of battles such as Pearl Harbor and Bataan and Corregidor in the Philippines.

obama-pearl-harbor-wh-photo

With this, the prime minister expressed “deep repentance” in a speech that drew standing ovations from U.S. lawmakers and symbolized Japan-U.S. reconciliation.

It was previously thought that Abe was not inclined to visit Pearl Harbor. In the process of arranging Obama’s visit to Hiroshima, the U.S. State Department communicated secretly with Japan about the possibility of Abe visiting Pearl Harbor. However, the Japanese side declined.

The prime minister apparently thought his visit would have a negative impact on Japan-U.S. relations because the focus would be on whether or not an apology would be made during the visit and historical arguments would resurface.

“A visit should be made of one’s own volition and should not be made in return for something,” a government source said. Abe obviously concurred with such sentiment, too…(read more)

Source: The Japan News

Advertisements


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.