Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced in his press conference on December 5 that he would visit Hawaii from December 26 to 27 for his last summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama. Abe also said that he would visit Pearl Harbor with Obama “to offer our prayers for the repose of the souls of those who perished there.”
Similarly to Abe’s visit to Washington in April 2015 and Obama’s visit to Hiroshima in June 2016, Abe’s visit to Pearl Harbor will focus more on “reconciliation” and “reflection” rather than offering an “apology.” The statements not only by Abe but also by the White House prove that point. Both statements emphasize the significance of the joint visit to Pearl Harbor by the two leaders as a powerful example of reconciliation between the two countries, whose relationship has dramatically transformed from being enemies during World War II to being the closest allies.
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