In first, Japan PM Abe commemorates Pearl Harbor attacks at US memorial

December 27, 2016 23:38

HONOLULU - President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will use a symbolic joint visit to Pearl Harbor to highlight the strength of the US-Japan alliance on Tuesday, weeks before Republican Donald Trump takes over at the White House.

Obama, who is on vacation in Hawaii, and Abe met to discuss ties between the two former World War II foes before they head to the site of the 1941 attack.Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor with torpedo planes, bombers and fighter planes on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, pounding the US fleet moored there in the hope of destroying US power in the Pacific.

Abe plans to commemorate the dead at the USS Arizona Memorial, built over the remains of the sunken battleship USS Arizona. He will be the first Japanese prime minister to visit the memorial, a centerpiece of the historic site. Officials said Abe would not apologize for the attack.

The two leaders will take part in a wreath-laying and a moment of silence. Later they both will make remarks.

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