HONOLULU – A Hawaiian newspaper on Wednesday praised Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the symbolic site of Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor with U.S. President Barack Obama.
Citing Abe’s Tuesday visit to the USS Arizona Memorial, the first by a sitting Japanese prime minister, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser said, “Although the reconciliation between America and Japan has been ongoing for decades, there was a sense of closure with this visit.”
The paper said Abe’s Pearl Harbor visit “was the second part of a peace offering” between the two World War II adversaries following Obama’s preceding trip to Hiroshima, where the United States dropped the first of two atomic bombs in 1945 to bring about Japan’s surrender.
“Both the Hiroshima and the Pearl Harbor ceremonies were conceived as an occasion for acknowledgment, not apologies,” the paper said in an editorial. “But the occasion presented the opportunity to offer sincere condolences, something people of conscience do for each other.”
Obama visited Hiroshima in May, the first sitting U.S. president to do so, to pay tribute to those killed in the U.S. atomic bombings on that city and Nagasaki in 1945.
“What was acknowledged in these meetings was the magnitude of the loss in those attacks and the true consequences of war, in contrast with the bonds of the alliance that emerged from the conflict,” the editorial said.
Referring to Abe’s pledge Tuesday “never again to wage war,” it said, “There is hope in that vow, a hope to which we cling now. Time and the resolve of two warring nations can overcome wounds as deep as those endured at Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
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