Seventy-five years after the infamous surprise attack on the U.S. naval base that sparked World War II in the Pacific, Shinzo Abe will become the first Japanese prime minister to visit the memorial in Hawaii.
As reported by Nikkei, the prime minister will make his visit with outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama on Dec. 26 and 27, and pay his respects to those killed in the war. The two leaders will also hold talks together. “”It will be our final summit and a grand one,” Abe told reporters at his office in Tokyo.
“I want to show my determination to never repeat the calamity of war again,” Abe said.
On Dec. 7, 1941, an Imperial Japanese carrier group bombed Pearl Harbor, sinking multiple American battleships and killing about 3,000 people. It was followed by a massive Japanese assault across Southeast Asia. Four years later, Japan surrendered after its forces were destroyed and two cities bombed with nuclear weapons. The U.S. and Japan are now strong allies.
In May, Abe and Obama met in Hiroshima, where the first nuclear attack occurred in August 1945.