Japanese Leader Abe to Visit Pearl Harbor With Obama

  • Japanese Leader Abe to Visit Pearl Harbor With Obama

Japanese Leader Abe to Visit Pearl Harbor With Obama

Monday's unexpected announcement came two days before the 75th anniversary of the attack and six months after Obama became the first sitting US president to visit the memorial in Hiroshima for victims of the USA atomic bombing of that city at the end of the same war.

President Obama will accompany Abe on the visit, which is scheduled for December 27.

"This visit is to comfort the souls of the victims". The 75th anniversary of the attack is this Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters on Monday evening, Abe implied the visit was in return for Obama visiting Hiroshima earlier this year.

Now, at the USS Arizona Memorial, Abe will honor those killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. "At the same time, I would like to send a message of reconciliation between Japan and the U.S".

Abe has already visited one US memorial to the victims of World War II, as he said in an address to Congress a year ago. His government has also agreed on a final deal with South Korea to resolve the dispute over the Japanese army's wartime use of women as sex slaves, euphemistically known as "comfort women".

The attack on the naval base by Japanese torpedo planes, bombers and fighter planes drew the United States into World War Two when it declared war on Japan, while the USA nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki forced Japan to surrender. Nearly 200 aircraft bombed the site over 30 minutes, destroying the USS Arizona among other naval vessels. Japan surrendered six days later.

Although the two nations have long since become close allies, Obama and Abe have attempted to use the visits to bring closure to old grievances.

Abe met with Trump in NY last month. He wouldn't disclose details, but said that Trump is a leader he can have great confidence in.