Abe to visit Pearl Harbor

TIKYO: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to become the first Japanese leader to visit Pearl Harbor, announcing on Monday a trip to Hawaii this month for talks with US President Barack Obama.
Abe, who will be in Hawaii on December 26 and 27, will visit the site of the surprise Japanese attack on December 7, 1941, that began World War II in the Pacific.
The Hawaii visit comes after Obama in May journeyed to Hiroshima, the Japanese city where a US plane dropped the world’s first atom bomb in the closing chapter of the war. Nagasaki was bombed several days later.
In Hiroshima 140,000 people died in the immediate blast on August 6, 1945, or later from radiation exposure. The Nagasaki bomb, dropped on August 9, killed more than 70,000 people.
Obama gave a soaring speech in Hiroshima that, while it offered no apology, was generally well received in Japan as it focused on the suffering of the atomic bomb victims.
“We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in the not-so-distant past,” Obama said in his speech at a cenotaph in the now thriving city, as a handful of surviving victims looked on. — AFP