Shinzo Abe lands in Hawaii: Today he will visit Pearl Harbor

Barack Obama will accompany him to the place of the attack. The Japanese Prime Minister will pray for the dead but will not apologize It is the first time that leaders of both countries visit the memorial together.

Honolulu (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe landed today in Hawaii, where in the afternoon he will visit Pearl Harbor, the American Naval base attacked by the Japanese on December 7, 1941. Immediately after landing, Abe went to visit several memorials recalling the battle that killed 2,400 US soldiers (as well as dozens of Japanese). At the National Pacific Memorial Cemetery the Japanese Prime Minister laid a wreath of flowers.

Abe will be accompanied to Pearl Harbor by Barack Obama and will be the first time in history that the leaders of the two countries will go to the place at the same time together. The spokesman of the Japanese leader announced that he will not ask for forgiveness but will say a prayer for the dead. Before the visit, Abe and Obama held a working summit, the last for both of them before the resignation of US President.

The Japanese prime minister’s visit arrives in three weeks after the 75th anniversary of the attack and follows the visit made by Obama to Hiroshima last May (the first US president to do so), a sign of the ever closer alliance between Tokyo and Washington. The first Japanese leader to go to Pearl Harbor was Shigeru Yoshida in 1951.

On December 7, 1941, 353 Japanese aircraft attacked the US military base at 7:55 am. The operation lasted just over an hour, and, in addition to the dead, 19 US war ships, including eight battleships were destroyed.