Japanese PM to visit Pearl Harbor to strengthen Japan-US alliance

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-05 22:06

Japanese PM to visit Pearl Harbor to strengthen Japan-US alliance

Gunners on board the minesweeper USS Avocet look for more Japanese planes, at about the time the air raid ended on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, US December 7, 1941. The 75th anniversary of the attack, which brought the United States into World War Two, is marked on December 7, 2016. [US Navy/National Archives/Handout via Reuters]

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Monday that he will visit the Pearl Harbor later this month to mourn the victims of Japanese surprise attack 75 years ago.

Abe will be the first incumbent Japanese prime minister to visit Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, which was attacked by the Japanese military on Dec. 7, 1941, killing more than 2,400 people and leading Washington's entry into World War Two (WWII).

During his visit to Hawaii between Dec. 26 and Dec. 27, Abe will offer flowers at the memorial in Pearl Harbor and also hold talks with US President Barack Obama.

"I want to reaffirm with President Obama what we have done over the past four years," Abe, who took office in 2012, told reporter at his office, adding that "I also want to use the opportunity to convey to the world the significance of further strengthening our alliance."

In late May, Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima, since his country dropped an atomic bomb on the city 71 years ago to accelerate the end of WWII, which was partially waged by Japan.

Observers here said Abe's decision to visit the Pearl Harbor aims to consolidate the Japan-US alliance even under the upcoming US administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

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