Obama To Make Historical Visit To Pearl Harbor With Japanese Prime MinisterPresident Barack Obama holds up a Bo golf club cover, a gift given to him by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mrs. Akie Abe at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan, April 24, 2104. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House. Shinzo_Abe_with_Obama_laughing_2014
United States President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make history later this month by visiting the site of the Pearl Harbor attacks that led to the United States’ entry into WWII. Abe will be the first leader of Japan to visit the site since the day of the attack; December 7, 1941.
Abe told reporters that he will visit the site on December 26 and 27 to pray for the soldiers killed during the attack. The meeting will also serve as a final summit before Obama leaves office. Abe states that the visit is an act of reconciliation between the two nations and hopes that it will lead to increased cohesiveness. He said:
“We must never repeat the tragedy of the war, I would like to send this commitment. At the same time, I would like to send a message of reconciliation between Japan and the U.S.”
Obama made history earlier this year by becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Nagasaki and Hiroshima nuclear bomb sites. The trip divided Americans. The Japanese have become staunch allies of the United States in the nearly 75 years since the attack and Abe hopes to continue that trend as Obama transitions out of the White House.
Many Japanese officials are concerned about Trump’s foreign policy. Trump campaigned on the promise that Japan and other allies will contribute more to the cost of stationing U.S. Troops in their countries. Abe, however, seems unconcerned. He met with Trump in New York in November. After the meeting he stated that Trump is a leader that he believes he can have great confidence in.